Why is a conservation group calling on Canadians to 'soil your undies'?
Soil Conservation Council of Canada chair Alan Kruszel helps to bury a pair of underwear (Youtube/ Farm Boy Productions)
Published Thursday, April 20, 2017 8:38AM EDT
The weather is finally starting to warm across Canada, and that has gardeners and farm owners so excited, they could soil their undies. In fact, the Soil Conservation Council of Canada hopes they do exactly that.
The council is a calling on gardeners to grab a pair of cotton underwear, bury them under the soil in their garden, leave them there for a few months, then dig them back up again to see how they look.
If microbes in the soil have nibbled away at the cotton until there’s not much left but a virtual G-string, it means the soil is healthy and teeming with life. If the undies come out looking much the same as they did going in, the soil is exhausted, likely from overuse.
The council’s #SoilYourUndies campaign, running this week for National Soil Conservation Week, is meant to raise awareness about the importance of soil conservation, says SCCC chair Alan Kruszel, himself a farmer in Ontario.
"Healthy soil is full of amazing, living organisms. It is what sustains us and is the foundation of a thriving civilization," he said in a statement.
The Soil Conservation Council says soil is the backbone of Canadian agriculture, allowing for sustainable food and crop production, as well as feeding the plants and trees that keep our air clean.
Soil that can support life should contain bacteria, fungi, invertebrates such as worms, minerals and decaying organic matter. But the council says healthy soil in Canada continues to face several threats.
Some of Canada’s best agricultural land -- and the healthy soil beneath it -- are being lost to urban sprawl, residential developments, industrial developments in rural areas, and the energy sector.
The soil council is encouraging everyone who cares about soil health to bury a pair of undies in their own backyards. All that’s needed is a pair of 100 per cent cotton, white briefs, a shovel and a flag to mark the site along with the council’s full instructions.
After two months, dig up the undies and post a video or photos on social media using the hashtags #SoilYourUndies or #CdnSoilWeek17. The SCCC will present some of the highlights from the #SoilYourUndies campaign at the next Summit on Canadian Soil Health in Guelph, Ont. in August.