Rita Walker (Blog Thirteen): By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris
The type of soil and climate found in a particular area will determine what plants will grow best in that location. In Brantford the soil is mostly Luvisolic: a mixture of clay, silt, and sand. Clayey Gleysolic and Gray Brown Luvisolic are the main soils with the major crops being corn, soy, and tobacco.
Rita looks up at the students in her class and sighs. She counts sixteen students and only one of the five she expected. As she met each of the Ancients, though she only saw Rae, they gave her the ability to see an aura on the very rare occasion her path connected with another elemental’s. She sees a blue hue around a tall man with dark dreadlocks and trimmed beard. “Water,” she whispers. His head tilts to the side as she speaks the word and she knows he has heard her.
“Soil is composed of many different chemicals and organisms. The type of each is determined by the composition of the minerals in a given area. Wind blows soil and glaciers move large chunks of it. And what else is soil? It is the by-product of death and waste. When leaves die and fall off a tree or as plants wither and decay they decompose—into soil. Whatever your body doesn’t use must come out as waste products. In the natural pattern everything dies and everything is used to help the growth of life.”
“We’re going to focus on the soil in Brantford.” Rita moves to the side of large screen behind her and clicks a button on a remote. An image of Canada with multiple colours appears representing the different soil types and where they are located. She uses the pointer of the remote and points a red dot to the area where Brantford is on the map. “The yellow represents Luvisolic soil. Glaciers pulverized the soil so that the dominant minerals are calcium and magnesium leaving the top soil as predominantly loamy or clay. Loamy soil is a mixture of clay, silt, and sand. Clay and silt help keep in the water while sand creates gaps for better root growth.
“Farmers use both cattle and human manure to fertile the soil. That will be our next lecture. Are there any questions?”
The man with the blue aura raises his hand.
“Yes?” Rita asks.
“What happens when the soil is polluted?” he asks in a voice that is both soft and deep, “and what about soil microorganisms?”
“That’s coming up in future lectures Mr.?”