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In this outdoor activity, learners make their own organic-rich soil. Depending on where this activity is done, learners will probably discover that their local soil is low in organic matter. Then they will determine how much organic matter (compost, manure, or leaf mold) they must add to the local soil to match the organic content of a commercial soil mix. Background information discusses soil as a mixture of water, air, minerals, organic matter and living organisms, and explains more about organic matter in soil and its necessity in agriculture and gardening. The "Branching Out" section encourages learners to followup by planting seeds or seedlings of easy edible plants such as peas, beans, lettuce and Swiss chard.
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