Out of sight, and often out of mind, a fertile soil is filled with life. "Scientists report we literally stand on the rooftop of another world, and there's more life below ground than above," said Sandy Tanck, exhibit curator. "Soil is more than bits of rock and decay. It also teems with life, from microbes to insects and larger animals. Knowing how it all works is the secret to successful gardening."
Yet soil is a gift we take for granted. Rising human population and its increasing needs place growing demands on the land to produce food and feedstock, fiber, bioenergy and other crops. Development takes its toll.
"This exhibit will focus on ways we can all be wise stewards of our soil, to preserve its fertility now and for the future," said Dr. Ed Schneider, Arboretum director. "This is an important and timely topic. Visitors will discover sustainable steps they can take at home. Between the whimsical art and the Clayhouse Project, youngsters will have a great time too."
Dirt-O-Rama is presented by Randy's Blue Bag Organics. "We think that visitors young and old will see dirt in a whole new way," said Jim Wollschlager, director of company operations at Delano-based Randy's Environmental Services. "And they'll be amazed by the amount of food waste Minnesotans throw away every day - organic waste that could be put to good use as compost, fortifying the soils of lawns, flower beds and backyard gardens. And we hope they'll take action and begin to either compost at home or through a local trash hauler that offers Blue Bag Organics curbside composting."
Enjoy artist interpretations of dirt within the 'Art of of the Earth' juried outdoor display, discover how compost is made at the Compost Corner, learn what makes a healthy soil at the Real Dirt Lab, watch clay and adobe artists create a Clayhouse at the Learning Center, and visit the biochar display to ponder the question, "Is biochar good for home gardens?"
Arboretum Dirt-O-Rama News Release
Exhibition Fact Sheet