This week Farmer Dave explored soil with the youth in our Green Career Pathways Urban Agriculture Class. He brought in dirt from his farm- all if it from a small space but each sample very different. We spent time noticing how different each sample was: not only how it looked different, but also how it smelled and felt different too.
We learned the ribbon test for checking clay content in soil and then we did a soil shake test with his soils which involved filling plastic containers with some of each soil and then with water, placing the lid on each one and then shaking the containers hard. We then left them to stand while we went outside to explore.
Outside we dug samples in different locations. Before we starting digging we decided where to dig. Each spot, though in a small area, had different plants growing on it. AS we dug, we noticed the differences in the plants in each location, the ease with which we could dig, and what was in the dirt (like worms!) Dave shared that “a worm without dirt is like a fish out of water,” when some of us wanted to remove the soil from the worms we found.
Then, we returned inside to check on our soil samples from the soil shake test. After some time studying these, we planted seeds in flats- tomatillos and squash!
All in all it was a packed hour and a half!