Garden Soil Enrichment

Garden Soil Enrichment – Teach One Reach OneScripture: Genesis 3-4

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will review the story of the first sins, focusing especially on the mentions of gardens and growing food
  • Students will learn why it is important to have enriched soil for plants and the best ways to enrich soil naturally
  • Students will experiment with various natural methods for enriching soil

Guiding Question: What are some natural ways to enrich garden soil?

Materials: disposable pans of local soil, leaves, wood ash, grass clippings, fruit and vegetable scraps, egg shells, coffee grinds, shredded newspaper, wood chips, large container/area for compost pile

Procedure: Review the story of the first sins, focusing especially on the mentions of gardens and growing food. Discuss the importance of Adam and Eve finding enriched soil to plant their garden outside of Eden. Ask students what people do when they need to grow their own food, but the soil near them is not the best soil for growing food? Have several disposable tins of local soil. Using the materials provided place different combinations on the dirt. Keep the dirt moist and turn it over at least once a week. At the end of every month check to see which soil appears to be the most enriched. After several months, you can attempt to grow plants in the soil and see if one soil grows plants better than the others. If your area has room, help students create a community compost pile. After a few months, use the enriched soil on a community garden or share it with local gardeners. (To build a compost pile: Find an area and mark it off or use a large trash can. Alternate layers of “green” – fruit and vegetable scraps, grass clippings, egg shells, etc. “brown” – wood chips, shredded newspaper, paper towels and dirt. As with other methods keep the pile moist and turn ti over about once a month. Do NOT use meat or cheese in the pile as it will smell and attract rodents.)

Additional Question: What are the pros and cons of chemical versus natural soil enrichment?

Supplemental Activity: Have students research and record the pros and cons of chemical versus natural soil enrichment. Have them share their findings with local farmers or gardeners.