It’s time for Canadians to dig up their undies

Side-by-side comparison of the Stanfield’s undies. Left – brand new undies; right – official SCCC undies that were dug up at the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum in Ottawa. Photo: CNW Group/Soil Conservation Council of Canada (SCC)

It’s time for Canadians to grab their shovels, head into their gardens, flowerbeds or fields and reveal their underwear.

Part 2 of the Soil Conservation Council of Canada’s (SCCC) experiment to help gauge the health of soils has come to an end, and if you buried a pair of cotton briefs, now is the time to retrieve them.

“The Council was thrilled by the amount of interest in Soil Your Undies this year,” says SCCC chair, Alan Kruszel. “From coast-to-coast, Canadians garnered a greater appreciation for the precious resource right under their feet by burying a pair of undies on their own.”

Last April during National Soil Conservation Week, the SCCC buried a pair of cotton briefs at the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum in Ottawa. Recently when they were unearthed, the briefs had been reduced to an elastic waistband, indicating a healthy, living soil had fed on the thread material (see photo at top).

If your underwear looks not too worse for wear once you’ve dug them up or you think your soil is lacking, the SCCC has a few tips for you:

  • Have your soil tested by a reputable soil lab to understand important parameters such as pH and organic matter.
  • Add organic material like manure, compost, or crop residues.
  • Keep the soil covered with something living for as long as possible.
  • Reduce tillage.

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