Going back to school concerning SOIL

• posted on February 19, 2011, 7:08 pm
Just in case we don't know it all.
http://soil.gsfc.nasa.gov/touchtheearth/studysoil.htm
"7. Teacher says: "The remaining 10% (approximately), a very small fragment of the land area, represents the soil we depend on for the world's food supply. This fragment competes with all other needs - housing, cities, schools, hospitals, shopping centers, land fills, etc., and, sometimes, it doesn't win.""
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5. Ask students to try to come up with "stories" about how other soils may have formed and the properties that they have. 6. Introduce the concept of diversity in soil which states that because every soil is different, each one can only be used in a certain way. For example, which kind of soils would be best for growing crops (flat, fertile, enough moisture, deep, etc.)? Which soils would be best for building a pond or reservoir (clay with massive structure, high density, low porosity, flat or depressed area on the landscape, etc.)? Which would be best for filtering wastes (high surface area, lots of organisms, not too cold or wet, etc.)? Have the students think of other land uses and what kinds of soil properties would be best for those uses. Activity Three: How much soil is there on Earth? 1. Take an apple and a small knife, to conduct the following: 2. Teacher says: "Pretend that an apple is the planet Earth, round, beautiful, and full of good things. Feel its skin, hugging and protecting the surface." 3. Teacher asks and discusses:   a. "How much of the surface of the earth is covered by water?"   b. Answer: Water covers approximately 75% of the surface.   c. Action: Cut the apple in quarters. Toss three quarters (75%) away.
4. Teacher says: "The three quarters (75%) that was just removed represents how much of the earth is covered with water - oceans, lakes, rivers, streams. What is left (25%) represents the dry land. Fifty percent of that dry land is desert, polar, or mountainous regions where it is too hot, too cold or too high to be productive".   Action: Cut the "dry land" quarter in half and toss one piece away. 5. Teacher says: "When 50% of the dry land is removed, this is what is left (12.5% of the original). Of that 12.5%, 40% is severely limited by terrain, fertility or excessive rainfall. It is too rocky, steep, shallow, poor or too wet to support food production."   Action: Cut that 40% portion away. 6. Teacher says: "What is left is approximately 10% of the apple. Action: Peel the skin from the tiny remaining sliver. 7. Teacher says: "The remaining 10% (approximately), a very small fragment of the land area, represents the soil we depend on for the world's food supply. This fragment competes with all other needs - housing, cities, schools, hospitals, shopping centers, land fills, etc., and, sometimes, it doesn't win." Action: Pass the apple skin that represents the Earth's arable soil around to the entire class. Discuss with students some ways in which they could be more mindful of the soil and the way soils are being used at their homes or in their town. For example, discuss the idea of composting to recycle wastes and help make the soil rich in organic matter, and about keeping soil covered with vegetation so that it will not erode away or become compacted. * How Much Soil Is There? Learning Activity courtesy of: The Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture (This material can be downloaded from soils.gsfc.nasa.gov)
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Bill S. Jersey USA zone 5 shade garden

³Every conflict in the world today has its origin in the

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• posted on February 24, 2011, 5:04 pm

Very intersting Bill. My Dad worked for Seabrook Farms in your area for a couple of years before he went back to teaching Soil Chemistry at Rutgers from which he retired. He had previously taught at Purdue PennState, and UMass as an agronomist. He had a sign in his office that said "Don't Say Dirt Around Here" which one of his grandaughters had made for him.His name was Joseph Steckel, and we ran into former students of his all over the place. Nanzi

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• posted on February 24, 2011, 5:50 pm
In article

I know Seabrook Farms. Large populations of Japanese, Tibetan, and Eastern Europe lived there to escape WW2. When the Dalai Lama came to the US and visited New York City he would stop by Seabrook Farms this in 1960 -1975 time frame. We used to go to a very plain looking little store called Cherries to purchase Asian food stuffs . Neat. Sounds like you had a great Dad.
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Bill S. Jersey USA zone 5 shade garden

³Every conflict in the world today has its origin in the