The Daily Dirt

FoodCorps Friday- DIRT DIP!

FoodCorps Friday- DIRT DIP!dsc_0940

By, Captain Planet Foundation service member, Suzie Pope


Did you know that soil is made up of six main components? This week in garden class we used our magnifying glasses to see if we could discover what these six parts might be. We found sticks, rocks, sparkles, ants, and leaves. Then, we started to wonder, maybe there are parts of soil we cannot even see! Maybe there are things too big for our magnifying glasses or even too small! Maybe there are some parts we can only feel, or are more present one day and less present another.


If you were to cook up a healthy soil, what would your ingredients be?

We learned the best way to make a healthy soil would be with minerals/rocks, water, air, roots, compost/humus, and living organisms.



Once we identified our ingredients we made “Dirt Dip” to visualize a healthy soil.


We began with rocks and minerals (the sparkles we found) and added 2 cups of black beans and pinto beans to a clear dish as our representation. Then, we added our water, represented by 1 cup of chopped lettuce leaves. After we added our lettuce, we added 1 mashed avocado. Adding air to the avocado as we mashed it, it was our representation of air in our Dirt Dip. 1 cup of shredded cheese was our roots. The leaves and sticks we found with our magnifying glasses decomposed into our compost/humus, so we used 1 cup of plain greek yogurt to represent that rich layer of soil. Last but not least, we needed to add our ants, fungi, moles, worms, and other living things. We chopped up tomatoes to sprinkle on top of the yogurt and voila! We had made healthy dirt and a healthy dip!








The students voted on their favorite soil ingredient, and by far the winner was….. rocks and minerals! We discussed what each ingredient adds to our soil (as well as our dip) and then we went outside to see if we could each identify at least 4/6 components of soil.


Other dishes that might visually display the 6 ingredients of healthy soil could be:

    • pizza with different toppings
    • vegetable soup
    • granola
    • veggie pasta
    • fried rice

See this Captain Planet Foundation Project Learning Garden resource to teach kids about healthy soil in your own classroom:


Dirt Dip:dip 2

Layer the following ingredients in a clear dish in the order they are listed.

2 cups of black beans and pinto beans

1 cup of chopped lettuce leaves

1 mashed avocado

1 cup of shredded cheese

1 cup of plain greek yogurt

Top with chopped tomatoes

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