What is compost?

Question: What is “compost,” exactly? I’ve heard the term my entire life, but I’ve never really understood what it means. Answer: Most gardeners and farmers know compost to be a rich, organic soil amendment, which can be used to improve soil tilth and supply plant nutrients. The term compost is also a verb for a … Continue reading What is compost?

What does it mean for a soil to be “healthy”?

Photo: Colette Kessler, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, South Dakota Question: I keep hearing the terms “healthy soil” and “soil health.” What does it mean for a soil to be healthy? Does it just mean the soil is free from pollutants? Answer: Soil health is a difficult concept to describe because unlike our human bodies … Continue reading What does it mean for a soil to be “healthy”?

Is pottery really made from dirt?

Question: Is pottery really made from dirt? Is it safe to use? Answer: Yes, it’s true. When you set your table every night, you’re setting it with dirt. An old open-pit, kaolin-clay mine in Hitchcock Woods, Aiken, South Carolina, USA. Photo by carlfbagge (www.flickr.com). Pottery is nothing more than soil clay that has been mined, … Continue reading Is pottery really made from dirt?