Three Ways to Make Soil

One: You will need a poplar tree to drop yellow leaves on the ground. Leave them. Let it rain, freeze, thaw and snow in intervals. Two months later, drop one green leaf on top. Wait.

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Two: You will need a fir needle. Many fir needles. And some sand. See if you can borrow a road. Let it rain. Lots. On a gentle slope of hill, the soil will gather itself.

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Three: Cheat. No soil required. This is the way of rock and grasslands. Lichen and moss extract minerals from rock. Seeds that fall into the spaces between stalks of moss find water, warmth, shelter, dust that blows in from the stars, and those dissolved minerals — everything that soil can do.

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Soil is not rock. It is alive. I hope you make some today!

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