Recently, we traveled to Lincoln Elementary School to work with students on a garden project at their school. Our goal was to educate them on the important properties of the soil which help things grow and the difference between garden soil and urban soil. Going into the classroom, we found they were surprisingly intrigued of the prospect of growing their own food. Sampling the soil specifically excited the kids at the possibility of seeing a worm.
Students were able to make the connections between the texture and color of the soils and how the correlate to the ability to grow plants. The kids knew without much direction that the soil from the garden was much better suited for growing things. The soil that is ideal for gardening is soil that is composed of the smaller clay particles (which aids in the retention of nutrients essential for growth) and and darker in color (which indicates a higher percentage of organic matter).
Going into this project of working with kids was a pretty scary prospect for me, but our interactions were actually an overall good experience. It was a great feeling knowing that we were helping to educate these kids on the importance of soil health and the process of growing plants.