The soil beneath our feet is a whole new world, only partially discovered. It is really like another universe except it is finite. It is a living entity filled with micro-organisms that help plants grow and decompose all of our dead, whether animals, plants or other organisms. I am putting two free educational links on this page so we can learn more about our wonderful dirt! From 2008 until 2010 the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History presented an exhibit called: Dig It! The Secrets of Soil:
“Soils Make Life”
Plants grow in and from soils, and plants—directly or indirectly—feed almost all life on Earth.
“Life Makes Soils”
Soil-dwellers such as bacteria and fungi recycle once-living organisms into nutrients and organic matter (humus)—vital components of all soils. Without soils, life would not exist as we know it.”
Fortunately for us, they have created an audio visual tour of this exhibit. This is a fascinating site and I highly recommend looking at it. You do need to have Flash installed to view parts of this exhibit.
For the kids in the family, and for the adults who are kids at heart, there is another great website with a educational game all about soil , what lives there and cleaning up toxic wastes.
There have been experiments where worms have cleaned up toxic wastes. So all the organic things that we add to our garden plots are building up the soil. Adding compost, manure, vermicompost and mulching are all good things we can do to enhance everything that we grow.