plants

Dirt On Dirt

What’s in dirt anyway?

Admit it.

After sinking the shovel or trowel into the ground to plant something, you end up looking at the dirt that is pulled up and asking yourself, “Just what is in dirt that helps plants to grow?”

We’ve all asked the question at some point. So, to keep things really simple, the answer is that there is a lot of 'stuff' in dirt — including rocks, sand, clay and organic matter. The United States Environmental Protection Agency says the average soil sample is 45% minerals, 25% water, 25% air, and 5% organic matter.

Aquaponics

Aquaponics is a system for farming fish and plants together in a mutually beneficial cycle. Fish produce waste that is a fertilizer for plants while plants suck up the nutrients as they purify the water. The system is efficient and environmentally friendly. A farm in Norwood, NC is pioneering the technique.

The Library of Plants

Plants have developed new molecules to protect against diseases, sunburn, and other stresses, and humans can use those molecules in new medicines. However, those plants are in danger of being lost to development and changing climates. The NC Arboretum is racing to document and preserve those plants in a special repository before they are lost forever.

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