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seeds – generously donated by T&T Seeds. It was a little messy but the chil- dren were so happy that they were able to plant their own seeds and take them home. Marigolds are great for kids to plant as they germinate quickly, in four to five days, allowing them to get almost instant gratification for their efforts. The kids had fun and were surprised

to receive their soil certificates at the end of the day. They obviously were inter- ested in what we talked about that day as I am still getting reports on how their flowers are doing and being asked ques- tions about soil and planting. Thank you to Country Kids Learning Centre for letting us make a mess and learn why soil rocks! i

Project: Learn how roots develop Have them plant a bean along the side

of a clear plastic cup. They will need to cut out a removable sleeve out of dark paper to slide on and off their cup. They can watch and record the growth of their seed by removing the sleeve. This is a great way to show children what is happening with plant roots under the ground.

Greenhouse scavenger hunt winners!

Congratulations to Seraiah Gould,

Chari Storozuk and Anna Mauer, our winners from the greenhouse scaven- ger hunt! Thank you to all of the chil- dren who entered and to T&T Seeds for providing the prizes. I hope you had fun! Visit to view some of the respons- es we received.

The school-age children also completed the class. Here they are with their soil diplomas. 10 Cool Things about soil for kids 1. Soil is the top layer of “skin” on

the Earth’s surface. You play in it, plant your garden in it and may also call it dirt or mud.

2. Almost all the food you eat, fibre

for your clothes and lumber for your home is produced by soil; it is very important for life on earth.

3. Soil has four horizons. The top

layer, “O”, is made up of the dead mate- rial that is breaking down (like leaves and dead bugs); this keeps soil healthy. “A”, the next layer down, is made up of roots, bacteria, fungi, bugs and worms. Lower yet is level “B”; it is very hard and plants and animals have a hard time getting through it. The deepest layer, “C”, is made up of hard rock that

eventually breaks down over millions of years to form the three layers above it.

4. Soil is alive; there are lots of crit-

ters who live there. A cup of soil may have as many bacteria as there are people on earth – six billion.

5. A handful of dirt from your yard

will likely hold several hundred trillion different microscopic life forms.

6. A typical-sized yard will have over

100,000 earthworms in it. 7. Did you know that when you

take a step in the forest you are being supported on the backs of thousands of bugs buried in the soil?

8. An average soil sample is 45 per

cent minerals, 25 per cent water, 25 per cent air, and five per cent organic matter. This organic matter is very important for healthy soil.

9. Different-sized mineral particles,

such as sand, silt, and clay, give soil its texture. Soils with a lot of clay in them are heavy and become sticky when wet; sandy soils are gritty and will not form into a ball and soils with lots of silt will feel soft and light.

10. The colour of soil can tell us a

lot about it. For example, red soil likely has a lot of iron in it and white usually has a high calcium content. There are over 170 different soil colours; most are shades of black, brown, red, gray and white.

S Summer 2015 • 33 ummer 2015

Plants need water to live.

All done!

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