Last night, Steve had already eaten dinner by the time I got home from my yoga class, so I nuked my food and settled down at the kitchen table with my copy of Teaming With Microbes: A Gardener’s Guide to the Soil Food Web, which is this month’s Garden Bloggers’ Book Club selection. (Note: I’m only a couple of chapters in, so this is not my official report on the book—that will come next week.)
Steve came in as I was finishing dinner. “I’m reading about dirt,” I announced. I set the book down so the back cover, which features a picture of an earthworm writhing at the surface of the earth. “Look. An earthworm.”
Steve sat at the table. “Are you excited?” he asked.
“About the dirt?”
“About gardening,” he said.
“I am excited,” I said. “I have already learned that we can test our dirt ourselves.”
“Without sending it in to a lab?”
“Just by putting it in a jar and shaking it up.”
“Wait. Is this just to see how sandy it is?”
I squinted at him. How did he know this trick, and I didn’t? I nodded. “You shake it up and the layers settle out and then you can measure them. Sand, silt, clay and organic matter.”
“But not the pH or anything.”
“No, not the pH or anything,” I said. Of course, pH can also stand for pHtttt, which is an excellent noise that means I am going back to reading my book now, since I clearly didn’t pay close enough attention in my 10th grade Geoscience class.
In my defense, I shared a lab station that year with very a cute boy. And at that point, I could have cared less about dirt.