Monday, November 23, 2009

Boiled Sea, Baked Earth

That's kind of dramatic sounding, isn't it?

I finally got my act together and started preparing the materials for my senior's book.

The soil from his family's S. Dakota farm (in the foreground) and the soil from the Oregon farm (in the back). There's a pretty dramatic difference in color between the two!

I tried pulverizing the soil first, but because it was damp, all I was doing was making lumps by pounding on it.

So I decided to bake first. Here are two trays of the Sauvie Island farm soil, ready to go into the oven. But I'm not sure if that was the right choice or not, because after baking, they turned into very hard granules.

Here I am, trying to pulverize after baking, using an old cookie sheet and a chunk of granite. I was making clouds of dust all over the room. And I still have lots of little hard granules. So now I'm wondering if I should soak the soil to make a slurry? The baking part isn't to dry the soil, but to maybe kill off whatever microbes are living in there.

I was glad that I broke up the soil into bits before baking—I found 2 worms!

While the soil was baking, I was also boiling and filtering the sea and river water. So here are the jars of boiled and filtered Pacific ocean, Willamette river and Columbia river. See how yellow the Willamette looks compared to the others. It also had a very different smell from the other two.

1 comment:

helen said...

This could be the title for a novel or at least a short story and that seems to be what it will become - someone's story!