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close this bookBetter Farming Series 04 - The Soil: How the Soil is Made up (FAO - INADES, 1976, 37 p.)
close this folderDifferent kinds of land
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentThe soil
View the documentThe subsoil
View the documentThe parent rock
View the documentExamples of different soils


There are several kinds of land, for example:

cultivated land the fields that are farmed;
cultivable land fields that can be farmed only if they are cleared;
land that cannot be farmed, because nothing grows on it; you cannot farm stone or laterite.


In your village maybe a hole has been dug, in order to make a well, or to get earth to make bricks.
Or maybe a ditch has been dug between two fields.
Let us dig a hole ourselves.
Let us dig it deep, and quite straight.

What do we see?
The soil is made up of different kinds of earth, of different layers.

These layers

· are not of the same colour; that on top is often darker.

· are not of the same depth.

By making a hole you can see the layers of soil

· In the first layer we find roots; this is the soil.
The soil is the layer of earth where roots find their food.
The soil is more or less deep.
The soil is more or less rich in food.

· Below the soil is a harder layer.
It is difficult to make a hole in it.
This is the subsoil.

· Even deeper is rock, called the parent rock.

Sometimes you can very clearly see the difference between two layers.
Sometimes the layers are alike.
You cannot see the difference very clearly.

Good land: it has deep soil