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By Lara, Ciauna and Jillian

Soil Illustrated

-Ant Jolina Jolie receives her Organism of the year Award -Exclusive Photos live from the soil carpet

Inside this issue: Organism of the Year


Why Does soil Matter


History of Arlington Gardens


Barbaric Yawp


One Wild and Precious life


Letter from the Editor


Photo Montage




Is Flowe Rida Cheating on Antjelnia Jolie With A Human?!

Soil Illustrated

The Organism of the Year Award Goes To.........

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By Jillian, Ciauna, and Lara

Up until now, ants have been one of the most underrated and overlooked organisms, however, just today, Antgelina Jolie has just received the organism of the year award. She says that most people out there think of ants as being a nuisance and have no true purpose. She hopes that by winning this award people will start to notice and respect ants, more than they used to. For example, many people do not know about the important role that arthropods play in maintaining the soil. Life on Earth would cease to exist rather quickly without ants. Arthropods are decomposers and they eat and process plants. Ants pollinate in dry areas where bees are not often found. They pollinate plants such as Smalls’ stonecrop, alpine nailwort, and Cascade knotweed. Antgelina’s passion for soil started from a young age. Both of her parents worked for the soil their entire lives. She noticed that the issue of soil loss was very serious. For those readers who do not know what soil loss is it’s when wind, water, and humans move and misplace topsoil. This leads to food shortages, which is not good at all. Jolie tried to raise awareness about this rising issue, but no one listened. So instead, she began to volunteer at her community compost. She wanted to make a difference for the greater world. She wanted to show that even a creature as tiny as an ant can make a difference. She had learned about humans and how soil was necessary in order for them to have food. She also learned that the Earth needs soil in order to function. “Even our own homes help mix the soil, bringing in vegetation, resulting in organic matter.” She states. And it is true, for the burrowing techniques of the ants help to toss the soil and keep it loose. They also create more humus for healthy topsoil which will help solve the issue of topsoil loss. Antgelina has always loved to help those with disabilities, such as bacteria. “My heart breaks whenever I see starving bacterium that wants to help the soil; I know I just cannot stand by and watch it struggle,”Antgelina Jolie says at a speaking for the NBF (National Bacteria Foundation). Antgelina lets the bacteria hitch a ride on her exoskeleton so they can spread microbes (Which improve decomposition) and fill up their bellies.” It’s the least I could do for my fellow friends, the bacteria.” Jolie tells us as she cradles a baby bacterium.

Volume 1, Issue 1

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Why Does Soil Matter


In order to get fertile soil, it has to go through a long and detailed process in order to be a habitat for either a living animal or a living plant. The first process involves weathering and erosion, which breaks down the rocks that are originally there before soil Is formed. After the rocks are broken down enough, plants grow through the cracks and die shortly after because of the poor conditions. Once these plants die, including other animals that die along with it, it forms into humus. Humus is a mixture of animal matter and dead plants, which are very good for plants to grow in. As other elements add in to the humus and the bottom layer of rock breaks down from roots of the plants growing in the soil, the soil becomes fertile and a good environment for plants to grow in. Although, the process to create soil takes hundreds and hundreds of years. Even though this seems like a long and challenging process, soil is a necessity for all forms of life. Without soil, we couldn’t grow crops and wouldn’t be supplied with any fruits or vegetables. Without those crops, we would have a very low supply on food and couldn’t survive. Soil is also a habitat for many animals, especially in forests. Without the soil these animals would have nowhere to go, and wouldn’t have any trees grown that could provide them shade or food. Not only animals above ground, but animals underground wouldn’t have a habitat to live in. As you can see, soil does matter, and it is a necessity to live.

The History of Arlington Garden


The plot of land where Arlington garden now stands was once the home of John Durand, who purchased the lot in 1902. The original mansion had an area dedicated to creating a “tropical paradise” filled with palm trees, cacti, roses, chrysanthemums, and other lavish plants. A century after John Durand died; plants are still being planted on the remaining three Acers of land of which has become Arlington Garden. Arlington garden is dedicated to being Pasadena’s only public garden. There is a sufficient variety of plants enabling it to change through the seasons and still have color and light. In 2003, the vacant lot only home to two oaks, a jacaranda, a California pepper and a range of palms, was suggested by the city, to become a public development. A lady called Betty McKenny introduced the idea of creating a Mediterranean climate garden. The idea took hold and people began to imagine the garden, and create drawings and plans as to what it may contain. The city, Pasadena Water and Power and the McKennys, collaborated and continued the idea. Other organizations and neighbors such as the Pasadena Beautiful Foundation, and the Mediterranean Garden Society, contributed ideas, plants and money. Soon after, Arlington Garden was approved as a part of Pasadena. The first plants were planted in the garden in July 2005, and since then approximately 400 trees which thrive in the California climate have been planted there, along with pieces of furniture, tables chairs, and a labyrinth. Today it contains a variety of cacti, succulents, olive trees, sycamores and orange groves. It has also become a place in which individuals come to relax, to learn, and to enjoy the landscape. It is also home to many endangered species of plants such as the California bay Laurel, the live oak, and the California sycamores which are now under protected status. In addition it has also become an example of a garden which is “in harmony with our climate” and contains plants which do not need as much water enabling us to still enjoy the beauty of them without using so much water. As a result of this series of events, the Arlington garden has become the place it is today.

The Labyrinth

Stop Polluting and Grow a vegetable Garden to stop your food from Traveling hundreds of miles to get to you.

Soil Illustrated

Barbaric Yawp

I arise each morning to a sea of green Nourished by you I eat each meal of plant and meat Grown from you I rise each morning and overlook my home Formed from you I scuttle and roam to find sustenance Provided by you I watch as waves cascade onto the fine sand Absorbed by you I run towards them leaving footprints Embedded in you I live among towering blades of grass Grown from you And other bushes and shrubbery Supported by you The endless trail of hoof prints lead on and on Recorded by you The various creatures sing with joy, songs Created for you Whether, large or small Earthy mushroom short or tall We all depend on you Let us celebrate life By Lara


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Above me, there is the hard steel arch. Burning, Looming, Waiting Miles away are the mountains cloaked in smog. Pencils scribbling, the whoosh of cars. Dust, flowers, and the sweet smell of the wind burn in my nose. Waxy, yet soft It feels like the color green There are many of them, too I look back towards school and I see the roses. There are only a few, though Its color is so deep and rich. Such a divine shade of red! Look at the little daisies! So sweet and small and Innocent. Their cute little white pleated petals So many of them. This, this perfect place, Where my mind is an empty bowl Waiting to be filled by the earth. ~ Ciauna Barbaric Yawp


Here I stand Soul to soul Inhaling against another living source

Before the acts of erosion and weathering I would’ve never considered you so powerful Before that you couldn’t even withhold another living life inside your clutches


But now you are so much more


Yaw p

You live to help other organisms live off of you Yet somehow the organisms all play into the role of helping each other after death It all seems to add up as I stand upon your top layer of soil It’s such an amazing idea that we live and depend on something that we toss around, walk on, play in every day

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Volume 1, Issue 1

One Wild and Precious Life

from This Earth

Sunlight filtering through fine fronds framed by a blue sky

Insects crawl, shooing me away.

In the distance I see the horizon peeping through the clouds

I pull up roots deeper than the topsoil.

The sweet scent of roses, complemented by the musky aura of twigs

That have thrived in this Earth for years.

Tainted by the hot stuffy air

And yours go down deep, too.

A faint buzz of traffic I run my hands across the individual pineapple shaped buds of lavender To my right I see a sea of white and green In front of me I hear the chattering of birds and children alike My attention is diverted by a vibrant red The Earth’s blood Gazing up once more I need no sunglasses for the bright rays of hope are blocked by leaves of envy I rise with questioning When will I have another moment to be a part of nature? By Lara

But you still don't belong here. I add this one to the pile of weeds just like it. I sigh a sigh that echoes across the yard And I get up to go. But look at my hands! This is all your fault. I choose from a variety of oddly scented bottles and put some on my hands. We don't belong here. But you do more than me.

Well, maybe I do belong Purple Royalty Purple Royalty, Your petals are flimsy yet articulated to the point As I sit next to you I can only feel relief

Because I still feel your home on my hands and face. But tomorrow I will come back to take it all away. ~Ciauna

Your scent is a light lavender which gives off a mellow vibe everytime I inhale Your beautiful color is a softened purple over a white backround Your texture is a soft peach with light fuzz Everytime I stand next to you and rest my eyes I get overwhelmed with serenity As I listen to you, I can here a buzz of insects surrounding you as their own place to rest and a rustle of familiar trees around you Jillian

O Pre ne Wi l cio us d And Lif e

Dear Reader, Throughout the course of this week my classmates I and have been learning about the importance of soil, and how much we depend on it for survival. We have learned about soil through written assignments, research, and hands-on activities. When we first started learning about soil, we were presented with an old Irish quote, “muck is the mother of the meal bag,” in order to help us make the connection between soil and the food that we eat. I interpreted the quote by stating that muck is another word for soil, and without soil we wouldn’t have meals. As we continued to think about this quote I began to notice that everything we eat, including things other than fruits and vegetables, depend on soil. For example even if we eat meat, animals such as cows depend on plants for survival, and plants grow form soil. We also learned about the factors which come together to create soil. (Ex: Climate, geology, biology, topography, and time.) As we continued to expand our knowledge on the topic of soil we were learning about the loss of topsoil, due to wind, water and erosion, and learned about ways in which we can help prevent this issue. As well as learning about soil, we also visited many places such as the Arlington garden. Through this experience we learnt a lot about the importance of sitting down and observing the environment and organisms around you. We used this experience in order to give us inspiration for our “one wild and precious life” poems. We also visited a community garden and learned about the purpose of having one. The first community gardens originated in WWI in order to sustain the communities and to increase the food supply, and during WWII, 40% of the food available was grown from community or victory gardens. We also learned about the benefits of having a community garden, and that it is cheaper, more sustainable, reduces chemical intake, and helps to bring communities together. When doing our individual projects, we also learned about different decomposers and organisms which help to fertilize the soil. We then studied Fibonacci numbers and took note of where they appear in the world around us. On the last day, we went through a rotation of activities ranging from hiking to creating an herb garden. When planting flowers and herbs we learned about the necessary condition of the soil, in order for the plants to thrive. During this process we broke up rocks and made sure the ground was well watered before planting the plants. Then we learned about composting and how we can create fertile soil in our own backyard, by making sure we dispose of fruit and vegetable produce separately from other waste, and keeping it in a container filled with decomposers such as worms. To conclude, the soil unit was a memorable experience because it taught us a lot about substances such as soil, which we may otherwise overlook. I hope I have helped share with you the reasons why soil is necessary to our way of life, and I hope we have inspired you to maybe start a compost heap or create a community/ victory garden yourself. Sincerely, Lara

Letter From the Editor

Letter From the Editor Now that we have at the end of our soil unit, I have come to realize that there is so much life depending on it. The saying, “Muck is the mother of the meal bag.” is quite true. The fertile stuff we call “dirt” or “muck” really is what grows all of our food. I didn’t know that soil played such a huge role in our own lives two weeks ago. Now I’ve learned that, without our precious soil, Earth would have just four more years to function. To see how much life just a pinch of soil homes is astonishing. One of my favorite parts was probably making the seventh grade garden and being able to plant herbs that will go to use in the Commons. I feel like I got to connect with people as we showed our more nitty-gritty side. I was definitely amusing to watch my friends’ reactions to different activities. The Soil Unit was definitely eye-opening for me. From your Editor, Ciauna

Letter From the Editor


Throughout the soil unit, I learned many persuasive reasons on why I should start my own backyard and shop at markets that harvest their products locally. I found it most interesting learning about where our food comes when we buy it from a convenient supermarket. Most times, something as simple as a banana could come from Kenya weeks ago but because it’s sprayed with chemicals it lessens the aging time. On the other hand, that banana can also be filled with pesticides and many other chemicals so it can look presentable when it’s on a shelf at the supermarket. Also, on its way making it to your supermarket from Kenya, it gets polluted from all the transportation it goes through (including pollutants from cars, ships, and planes). With all of that done to a banana, it doesn’t sound too appetizing anymore. Since learning about that from the soil unit, I visited my local farmers market with my family and browsed all of the stands there. A lot of the stuff they were selling was grown locally and organic, which was comforting to know that they weren’t filled with nearly as many as chemicals as any fruits or vegetables I usually purchased from the store. During the soil unit, we also learned a lot about growing plants and what it takes to have good soil in order for your crops to grow. You often need humus and usual necessities in order to have good, fertile soil that can be a home to insects and many plants to grow in. We learned about all kinds of gardens; we learned about victory gardens and about growing your own garden. After we discussed all about gardens in the soil unit, I started my own at home. In my garden, I’m growing four tomato plants and have so far fertilized the soil, and researched on how to tend tomatoes. Now, I’m going to be putting in strawberries as an addition to my garden and the seed balls we made during our working day where we planted and learned about trees, herbs, and many more.

Photo Montage By Ciauna

This montage represents that we are part of the Earth as much as the flowers and trees. I put Lara in her own hand to show that planting bushes and flowers can impact you. I added colorful flowers to show the Fibonacci numbers and how beautiful nature is. The Fibonacci numbers represent the fact that even math is related to the natural world around us. These numbers that we’ve found help trees grow in a manner so that they can be healthy. Overall, I think that we don’t give soil and plants as mearly as much credit as they deserve. -Ciauna

Soil Lara Jill Ciauna  

Soil magazine 2013