soil science

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.

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.