Shopping Cart
Your Cart is Empty
There was an error with PayPalClick here to try again
CelebrateThank you for your business!You should be receiving an order confirmation from Paypal shortly.Exit Shopping Cart

  A new generation, for a better world.

Children of Terra



Learning About Soil: Part 3 of 3

Posted on March 24, 2020 at 2:55 PM

It’s a force that carves valleys, forms caves, and washes away nutrients in our soil. It also helps distribute crucial minerals and nutrients into the food chain and form majestic streams and rivers. Erosion is a natural force unlike no other, and must be considered for so many areas in our everyday lives. Erosion must be accounted for when building roads, bridges, and buildings. It plays a major role in field planning and daily operations of farms. It destroys while simultaneously creating. Erosions mighty power can kill, but is relied on by organisms on all levels of the food chain to survive and thrive.


There are ways of managing erosion, whether it’s preventing it or directing it, though. The most preferred method is ground cover. Cover in the form of plant life or decaying matter (mulches, leaf litter, etc.) lessens the impact of falling rain on soil. It also helps to spread out and slow down water runoff, making the force of the water less damaging to the soil. These types of materials are often referred to as biomass.


Biomass is any living organism or material generated by those organisms decomposing in the soil. A proper balance of biomass helps create healthy soils that are more resistant to erosion. Not only that, but healthy soils mean healthier waterways. Many types of biomass help filter and clean water as it passes through the soil. It can also help the soil retain more water, making plant growth easier and taking some stress off of our watershed systems.


Believe it or not, there’s actually a really easy way to see the effects of erosion with a tabletop experiment. Let’s check it out!


Tabletop Erosion Model


What you will need:



  • 3 1qt cartons, clean
  • Scissors or a craft knife
  • Potting Soil
  • A Stapler
  • Grass seed, or some other plant
  • Mulch or leaf litter
  • 3 clear containers, all the same size
  • Water













  • Craft Paper
  • Glue
  • Markers







First, place all of your cartons side-by-side. Make sure they are all facing the same direction, and that the spout is pointed down. Cut the long side (the one that’s facing up) out on all three cartons, and staple them together. Fill all three with potting soil. Leave the first carton filled with nothing but dirt. In the middle carton, cover the top of the dirt with your mulch or leaf litter. In the last container, plant your grass seed.


Water all three cartons regularly, and allow time for your plants to grow. After a week or two, when the plants have grown a strong root system, it will be time to finish the project. Place your cartons on something tall enough to fit your clear containers under the spout. Take the lids off of each of the spouts, and place your clear containers underneath them to collect the water. Finally, pour the same amount of water into each carton (I used 2 cups for each).


Over the next couple of minutes, the excess water will drain out of the spouts and into the containers. You will likely notice that the carton of bare soil released a lot of dirty water. This is the carton that represents bare, unmanaged soil. The mulch or leaf litter carton likely released less water, and was probably cleaner than the bare soil water. The planted carton should have released the cleanest water in the smallest amount. The difference in the water coming out of these containers should show the effects erosion has on soil, and how a healthy balance of biomass and properly managed soils can help prevent erosion.


Project Notes:


Sustainability is key. I’ve seen this project done with 2-litre bottles, but I chose the cartons to help mitigate my usage of plastics. Since most of these cartons are biodegradable, I can just bury the whole thing in the ground and let it provide food to the plants as it breaks down.


If you’d like, glue some craft paper to the cartons to label or decorate them. Neat, organized labels usually make life easier.


I chose to use grass seed as it grows quickly, but you’re free to plant whatever you’d like in your project! Beans, flowers, and lettuce are just a few other options that may grow quickly and be useful for when you’re done with this project.


How’d your project turn out? Did the biomass help prevent the dirt from washing away? Share your projects and results with us in the comments here, or on our social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram). We love to see how they turn out!


CJ w/ Children of Terra-NEO


Check out parts one and two of this three part soil science series here:


Soil Shake:" target="_blank">

Determining Soil Type:" target="_blank">


  • Earth Eclipse: Causes, Effects and Types of Erosion

  • Queensland Government: Preventing and managing erosion

  • Science Direct: Soil Biomass

Categories: leafSTEM: Connecting Science, Tech, Engineering, and Math with the Environment, Habitat Protection and Restoration, Upcycling and DIY

Post a Comment


Oops, you forgot something.


The words you entered did not match the given text. Please try again.


Reply kd 12
11:58 PM on January 21, 2022 
I as well as my friends were actually following the great things from your web site then then I had an awful suspicion I had not thanked the blog owner for those secrets. All the women had been as a result joyful to see them and now have clearly been making the most of those things. Thank you for getting so considerate and also for finding this form of outstanding themes most people are really needing to understand about. Our own sincere regret for not expressing appreciation to sooner.
kd 12
Reply supreme hoodie
11:56 PM on January 21, 2022 
I precisely desired to appreciate you all over again. I am not sure what I might have gone through without those suggestions documented by you concerning such a theme. Entirely was a frustrating setting for me personally, but finding out this well-written approach you processed that forced me to leap with fulfillment. Extremely happy for the work and in addition pray you comprehend what an amazing job you were undertaking teaching others all through your websites. More than likely you've never met all of us.
supreme hoodie
Reply lebron 16
11:55 PM on January 21, 2022 
I wish to express my respect for your kindness supporting all those that must have guidance on the idea. Your real dedication to getting the solution across turned out to be rather helpful and have always made regular people like me to arrive at their targets. Your new informative help and advice means this much a person like me and much more to my mates. Many thanks; from everyone of us.
lebron 16
Reply off white shoes
7:31 PM on January 21, 2022 
My spouse and i got glad when Edward managed to round up his web research from the ideas he acquired while using the site. It is now and again perplexing just to possibly be handing out points the rest have been selling. And we do know we have the website owner to give thanks to for this. All of the illustrations you have made, the simple website menu, the friendships you make it possible to promote - it's got everything terrific, and it's assisting our son and our family do think the situation is fun, which is certainly highly fundamental. Thank you for everything!
off white shoes
Reply supreme hoodie
7:29 PM on January 21, 2022 
I in addition to my friends ended up studying the excellent guides on the website while then I got a horrible feeling I never thanked the web site owner for those techniques. Most of the boys had been as a consequence glad to see all of them and have absolutely been loving those things. Many thanks for getting indeed thoughtful and then for choosing such very good subject areas most people are really wanting to be informed on. My honest apologies for not expressing gratitude to sooner.
supreme hoodie
Reply off white shoes
7:28 PM on January 21, 2022 
I simply had to appreciate you once more. I do not know the things I would've undertaken without the actual tips and hints shared by you concerning my area of interest. It had been a real terrifying crisis in my circumstances, nevertheless seeing your expert approach you processed it forced me to weep with fulfillment. Now i'm happy for this work and as well , hope that you find out what an amazing job you are always getting into instructing many others by way of a web site. I am sure you have never met any of us.
off white shoes
Reply bape clothing
7:28 PM on January 21, 2022 
I simply needed to say thanks once more. I'm not certain the things that I would have created without the entire information documented by you about such area. It was actually a distressing crisis for me personally, but spending time with this specialized tactic you solved that took me to leap over joy. I will be thankful for the information and in addition sincerely hope you know what a great job that you are doing training the mediocre ones all through a blog. Probably you haven't encountered any of us.
bape clothing
Reply yeezy boost 350 v2
1:47 PM on January 21, 2022 
I want to convey my affection for your generosity in support of visitors who require help on this important niche. Your special dedication to getting the solution around had been incredibly valuable and have always allowed people like me to arrive at their endeavors. Your new invaluable hints and tips signifies a lot to me and far more to my office colleagues. Best wishes; from each one of us.
yeezy boost 350 v2
Reply yeezy boost 350 v2
12:29 PM on January 21, 2022 
I in addition to my guys were actually checking out the great information from your web blog then unexpectedly I had a terrible feeling I had not expressed respect to the site owner for those strategies. The guys are actually excited to learn them and now have pretty much been enjoying them. Appreciation for getting simply considerate and then for selecting variety of fabulous guides most people are really needing to be aware of. My sincere regret for not saying thanks to sooner.
yeezy boost 350 v2
Reply yeezy boost 350
12:26 PM on January 21, 2022 
I would like to show my appreciation to this writer just for rescuing me from this problem. Because of checking through the world wide web and obtaining solutions which are not powerful, I was thinking my life was well over. Existing without the solutions to the issues you have resolved all through the write-up is a crucial case, as well as those which might have negatively damaged my entire career if I had not noticed your web page. The knowledge and kindness in handling every item was priceless. I'm not sure what I would've done if I had not discovered such a point like this. I can also at this time look ahead to my future. Thanks for your time very much for your specialized and effective guide. I won't think twice to propose your web site to anyone who needs guidance on this subject.
yeezy boost 350
Reply bape clothing
12:25 PM on January 21, 2022 
Thanks so much for giving everyone an extremely special possiblity to read in detail from this web site. It is usually very lovely and full of fun for me and my office friends to search the blog on the least 3 times a week to learn the fresh guidance you will have. Not to mention, I'm just always satisfied for the unbelievable ideas served by you. Some 3 tips in this article are essentially the simplest I've had.
bape clothing
Reply bape
12:53 AM on January 21, 2022 
I wanted to send you the little word to thank you yet again over the extraordinary techniques you have shown in this case. It is certainly incredibly generous of people like you to give unreservedly what most people would've sold for an e book in making some money on their own, particularly considering the fact that you could possibly have tried it in case you considered necessary. The creative ideas in addition acted as the easy way to understand that many people have similar passion similar to my personal own to learn a whole lot more when it comes to this matter. I'm sure there are some more fun occasions ahead for folks who take a look at your site.
Reply supreme t shirt
7:42 PM on January 20, 2022 
Thank you a lot for giving everyone an exceptionally memorable opportunity to read articles and blog posts from this site. It is always very nice and packed with amusement for me and my office friends to search your blog at minimum thrice in one week to learn the fresh items you have. And indeed, I'm just actually motivated with all the wonderful principles you serve. Some 3 ideas on this page are in fact the most suitable I've ever had.
supreme t shirt
Reply supreme new york
7:40 PM on January 20, 2022 
A lot of thanks for your entire labor on this web page. Gloria really likes carrying out research and it's really simple to grasp why. All of us notice all of the compelling form you produce functional tips and hints on your blog and therefore welcome contribution from visitors on this theme while our daughter has been studying a lot of things. Have fun with the remaining portion of the year. You are always performing a good job.
supreme new york
Reply stespatex
5:55 AM on January 20, 2022 
Reply moncler outlet
3:55 AM on January 20, 2022 
My wife and i got very glad that Chris could carry out his reports through the entire ideas he got while using the blog. It's not at all simplistic to just continually be giving for free hints which usually some others may have been trying to sell. And now we do know we've got the writer to appreciate for this. These explanations you've made, the straightforward site navigation, the friendships you can help to instill - it's got most great, and it's facilitating our son in addition to the family believe that the article is satisfying, which is certainly tremendously mandatory. Thank you for all the pieces!
moncler outlet
Reply jordans
3:54 AM on January 20, 2022 
I want to show my appreciation to this writer for rescuing me from this type of challenge. Because of browsing through the online world and finding concepts which are not helpful, I assumed my entire life was well over. Being alive devoid of the approaches to the issues you have solved by way of your entire guideline is a crucial case, and those which might have in a wrong way damaged my entire career if I hadn't encountered your blog. Your primary skills and kindness in handling the whole lot was crucial. I'm not sure what I would've done if I hadn't come upon such a point like this. I can now look forward to my future. Thanks a lot so much for the skilled and effective help. I won't be reluctant to endorse your web sites to anybody who ought to have tips on this matter.
Reply hermes handbags
3:53 AM on January 20, 2022 
My spouse and i ended up being quite delighted that John could round up his web research through your ideas he made in your blog. It's not at all simplistic to simply be making a gift of techniques which often most people may have been selling. So we figure out we have the blog owner to give thanks to for that. The illustrations you have made, the simple site menu, the relationships your site assist to foster - it's mostly terrific, and it is making our son and our family reckon that that issue is thrilling, and that's wonderfully indispensable. Thanks for the whole thing!
hermes handbags
Reply lebron james shoes
3:52 AM on January 20, 2022 
I simply wanted to write down a simple note so as to thank you for all of the awesome concepts you are posting on this site. My rather long internet investigation has at the end been recognized with useful details to share with my family members. I would believe that many of us website visitors actually are quite lucky to exist in a decent website with very many wonderful professionals with great hints. I feel truly grateful to have come across your entire webpages and look forward to tons of more entertaining times reading here. Thanks once more for a lot of things.
lebron james shoes