Saturday, December 3, 2022

Play

Group wants rollbacks of some IA voting restrictions; RSV, Flu, COVID: KY faces "Triple Threat" this winter; Appeals court halts special master review of documents seized at Mar-a-Lago.

Play

The Senate passes a bill forcing a labor agreement in an effort to avoid a costly railway worker strike. The House Ways and Means Committee has former President Trump's tax returns in hand. The Agriculture Committee is looking at possible regulations for cryptocurrency following the collapse of cryptocurrency giant FTX. The Supreme Court will be reviewing the legality of Biden s student debt relief program next year. Anti-semitic comments from Ye spark the deletion of tweets from the the House Judiciary Committee GOP's Twitter account.

Play

The first-ever "trout-safe" certification goes to an Idaho fish farm, the Healthy Housing Initiative helps improve rural communities' livability, and if Oklahoma is calling to you, a new database makes it easier for buyers and builders to find available lots.

Underwear Underground? Campaign Aims to Educate PA on Soil Health

Play

Wednesday, June 1, 2022   

A campaign this month is challenging Pennsylvanians to learn about the health of their soil and neighborhood microbes by planting underwear in their farms or gardens.

The Soil Your Undies campaign invites residents to bury a pair of 100% cotton underwear, which can help visualize soil quality over time.

Kelly O'Neill, Pennsylvania agriculture policy analyst for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, which is helping organize the event, said residents can dig up the underwear after 60 days and report their findings. O'Neill said microbes in the soil will break down the cotton fibers over time - and the more thoroughly it has decomposed, the healthier the soil.

"We'll be able to see the links between how soil is managed in lots of different locations - farm fields, suburban lawns, playgrounds gardens - see how the soils, that are managed in all those different ways, are contributing to different levels of underwear degradation," she said.

O'Neill said the underwear should be planted about three to four inches deep. Participants should take a "before" photo prior to covering up their planting site. Other campaign collaborators include the Pennsylvania Soil Health Coalition, U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service and many others. Residents can sign up for the challenge at pasoilhealth.org/soilyourundies.

O'Neill said the campaign can serve as an educational opportunity for people to understand the beneficial effects of high-quality soil. It can help prevent runoff and pollution into local waterways, along with serious flooding. She said there are small things almost anyone can do to improve soil health.

"For farmers, it would be cover crops, integrated pest management so fewer chemical pesticides are applied," she said. "For lawns and gardens, limited chemical application to help maintain some of the natural biodiversity."

O'Neill said using organic material, like compost or dry manure, can be a helpful nutrient source for garden soil health. Once the "after" photos are submitted, the challenge partners will share tips for participants on how to improve soil quality based on what they found.

Disclosure: Chesapeake Bay Foundation contributes to our fund for reporting on Energy Policy, Rural/Farming, Sustainable Agriculture, Water. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
According to the Brennan Center, at least one bill with a provision restricting access to voting was introduced in the legislature of every state except Vermont in 2021. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The Iowa League of Women Voters plans to ask the Iowa Legislature to rethink the voting restrictions put in place prior to last month's midterm electi…


Environment

Agriculture groups and government agencies aren't slowing down in trying to convince farmers to use more sustainable practices such as cover crops…

Social Issues

Winter is here, leaving many older South Dakotans vulnerable to social isolation. But a growing body of research, as well as opportunities, shows …


Almost 60% of Black students and 50% of Latino students experience food insecurity, compared with 30% of their non-Hispanic white peers, according to a study by the Wisconsin HOPE Lab. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

By Jala Forest / Broadcast version by Nadia Ramlagan Reporting for the Kent State-Ohio News Connection Collaboration Nearly 40% of college students a…

Environment

The Biden administration has proposed a rule to limit methane flaring from oil and gas development on public lands. The rule would impose royalty …

Each year in the United States, an estimated 58,000 to 80,000 children younger than 5 are hospitalized due to RSV infection, according to the CDC. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The flu, COVID and RSV are rapidly spreading in Kentucky, and health experts say that's a problem for hospitals, schools and the state's vulnerable …

Environment

As its 125th anniversary nears, the Connecticut Audubon Society has released a report detailing the effectiveness of conservation efforts in the …

Social Issues

2022 was a banner year for women elected as governor. Nearly one-third of America's governors will be women next year, which is a record. Iowa …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021