Thursday 17 August 2017

Mother Nature’s Abundance

Let’s take a walk down the aisles of the fresh produce section of a supermarket. There are fruits; such as apples, oranges, watermelons, mangoes, tomatoes, grapes, bananas, papayas, - vegetables; such as spinach, mustard, convolvulus, cabbage, broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, - mushrooms; such as shiitake, button, oyster, Portobello, - bulbs and tubers; such as carrots, horseradish, potatoes, onions, turnip, tapioca, ginger, galangal, - and nuts, grains and seeds such as; rice, barley, wheat, green peas, soybeans, dhal, cashew nuts, almonds, chickpeas, lentils. They come in a variety of shapes, textures, sizes, and colors!

These types of fresh produce are enough to feed the mouths of the seven billion people on planet Earth today. And what do they have in common? They need soil to grow.

The soil is found on the upper most layer of the Earth. The soil consists of a mixture of weathered rock, finely ground into powder, minerals, and a variety of living and dead life forms. This nutrient rich layer typically only extends downward a few feet, about as deep as plant roots extend.

Soil contains all the nutrients needed by plants to survive. Some areas, such as deserts, have very poor soils; in these locations, it is difficult for complex plant life to take hold. An important part of soil is the part that is alive. Many different bacteria, algae, and fungi do important jobs that make life possible. Without these basic life forms performing these important roles, more complex life forms could not survive.

And earthworms are a farmer’s best friend because they make soil healthier by fertilizing and aerating it. Only 3% of the Earth’s landmass is available for growing food; therefore soil needs to be conserved to continue to support life.

To learn about the small fraction of the planet available for growing food

an apple and a knife.

1. Cut an apple in half lengthwise, then half again.

2. Take one of the four 1/4th of a piece and cut it in half lengthwise so that you have 1/8th.
3. Next, slice the 1/8th lengthwise into
four equal parts to give you four 1/32 sections of apple.
4. Take one of the 1/32 section and peel the skin.
5. This skin represents all the soil on the planet where food can be grown.

Glossary of Terms:
Fertilize [fur-tl-ahyz] to make productive; enrich.
Nutrient [noo-tree-uh nt] nourishing; providing nourishment or nutrient.

Shared by Surain A. Victor
Guest Blogger

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