In a few short weeks, we will start preparing our seeds for a new growth season. Soil is essential for growth of plants that support all life. Without major decomposes like fungi, bacteria, algae, protozoans, there would be no soil. A teaspoon of soil can contain 2 billion of these organisms, which break down detritus (the dead remains of plans and animals).
As the decomposers work, they produce carbon dioxide breaking down organic matter into proteins, fats, carbohydrates, ash. This is how essential minerals become available for plant growth and make the nutrient cycle possible, so that new life springs from the old in a continuing cycle of life and death on Earth. Prior to the industrial revolution, humans were a working part of the nutrient cycle as all human waste once consisted of all organic material.
A few big changes have taken place since then:
1. Production of synthetic non-biodegradable waste that taxes the ability of the Earth' nutrient cycle;
2. Pesticides and herbicides. What can we do about it?
Can you think of any solutions? In the next few days, we will suggest activities and discussions for children on how to keep the nutrients cycling. (Inspired by the Keepers of Life books)