“Soil Your Undies” Challenge

Oregon Business Article
July 22, 2020
In 2019 our local Soil and Water Conservation District chose about a dozen female farmers from across the county to participate in a unique challenge introduced by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service to demonstrate healthy soils, called the "Soil Your Undies" Challenge. The challenge is to bury a pair of organic cotton underwear in your field for 60 days. The idea is that the tiny microbes in the soil will devour the cotton fibers, leaving only the elastic band behind, which does not decompose well. The more deteriorated the undies, the healthier the soil. According to the NRCS, just one teaspoon of healthy soil contains more microbes than there are people on the planet! The Willamette Valley which we live in is home to over 200 different crops, but it would not be possible to grow them all without our fertile soil.
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Rochelle Koch, owner of Whole Circle Farms, buried a pair of organic cotton underwear in her hemp field for 60 days.
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What remains of the tattered britches!