SoilSoil is the thin layer of earth that plants and trees grow in. It’s composed of broken down rocks, organic matter such as rotten plants, and living organisms like worms. Without soil, nothing would exist. No plants or trees would grow, and we would have nothing to eat.
The soil is like the human body. In order to be healthy, it needs food, water, shelter and rest. Plants grow by taking the nutrients and minerals they need from the soil. We get the nutrients and minerals we need from eating those plants. Soil is essential to life, but each year Africa loses thousands of millions of wheelbarrow loads of soil to erosion. We need to find ways look after it.
Soil works hard for us every year, growing our food, but are we giving it what it needs to survive? Without shelter, harsh sunlight bakes the soil, and torrential rains wash it away. Without food - new inputs of organic matter - soil loses its nutrients. We must feed it well for it to feed us well. Fortunately, there are many things people can do to help soil restore and keep its fertility.
This topic is all about soil, how it is formed, how it is lost, and how to look after it. Even the smallest child can play a part in looking after the crucial resource underneath our feet.
DOWNLOAD: EXCERPTS FROM AFRICA OUR HOME
DOWNLOAD: SOIL ACTION SHEETS
DOWNLOAD: SOIL ACTIVITIES
DOWNLOAD: SOIL DIRECTORY
The soil films are available from PACE, firstname.lastname@example.org. The following are the sections of the DVD which are applicable to this topic:
Waste... becomes compost... helps grow healthy crops
Protecting the soil: A student applies mulch to the Toronto School food garden, South Africa. © Sarah Watson
Mr. Trasizo Phiri’s cabbage crop benefits from green manure - the soil has been enriched by nitrogen-rich leaves and branches from trees grown on the farm. (Kafunkha Agroforestry Farmers Club, Chiundamila, Zambia) © Jenny Sharman
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Last Updated on 2/1/2013