soil

The Devil’s Tramping Ground

The Devil's Tramping Ground is a clearing in the Chatham County woods where nothing has grown for as long as anyone can remember. The mysterious lack of plants in the area has inspired the legend that the Devil comes to that spot in the night and paces in a circle while planning how to tear down the hearts of men, trampling all the plants in the process. Scientists have yet to determine exactly why nothing grows there, including soil scientist Rich Hayes, who has run several tests on the soil chemistry of the site.

Pizza Box Composting

Composting Pizza Boxes
May 14, 2015 
 
College life is getting greener at North Carolina State University.
 
For the past year, the school’s Waste Reduction and Recycling Office has been focusing on an environmentally friendly way to dispose of an extremely common item — the pizza box.
 
Pizza boxes are not recyclable because of the grease and cheese that soaks into the cardboard, so they had the idea to compost the boxes.
 

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.

Digging For History

In 1567, Spanish explorer Capt. Juan Pardo traveled the Indian trails to a town called Joara, in the NC foothills. He built a fort there. Indians later killed the soldiers and burned the fort. It was a mystery, until archaeologists found evidence of the fort while researching the village. The discovery confirms the first inland European settlement in the new world.

Soil Science

Soil ScienceAt first glance, it would be easy to say compost is compost. Whether the compost is being shoveled from a bag and raked into a garden or dumped by truck and tilled into a farm, the dark, rich soil looks like dark, rich soil. After all, when you walk through the composting company Brooks Contractor, there are mounds of what looks like black dirt everywhere.

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