By Yumna Hari Singh
Who will find the best site to grow food for BW labs?
Alby and Arby were all set with their seeds and maps. They had one hour to explore the surroundings of the remote lab and find the perfect site to grow food.
“Ready, steady, GO!” said Bhoo and both the boys charged off in different directions. They already had their destinations in mind.
Alby first headed down to a rocky area he had spotted the day before. The ground was still wet from the brief rains that morning and the soil felt thick and sticky. “This soil seems to love water. I’m sure the plants will love it,” thought Alby as he quickly buried some seeds one inch into the soil.
He had some time left, so he raced to the second destination he had in mind.
Meanwhile, Arby had taken a longer time to reach his first spot, which was a sandy plain. As he ran his fingers through the loose sand, it struck him that it was pretty dry. “On the other hand, the texture is so loose, the roots will be able to grow deep!” The wind blew the large grains on his face, but Arby prevailed.
He pushed his seeds deep, watered the spot and sped off to his second location. Even as he turned away, the water quickly dried up again under the sun. “Uh oh,” he thought, starting to get nervous but went on with his plan.
Far away, Alby had just about finished with his final spot located on the riverbed. The soil particles here were bigger than at his first site, he noticed. Once his seeds were buried, he watered the spot. The water sank deep into the soil, but the ground remained firmly wet. Alby patted his seeds in farewell and was pleased to notice that unlike with the clay, his hands were not sticky and didn’t need to be washed again.
Arby’s final spot was close to Dr. Dodo’s lab. In fact, it was in the middle of the nearby forest. The soil was dark, sandier than clay, but clayier than sand. He planted his seed and hurried back to the lab.
The boys entered the lab just as Bhoo signalled that time was up. “Wow, you boys look gloriously dirty!” she exclaimed. “You’d better go clean up before Dr. Dodo sees your muddy footprints!”
A week later, it was finally time to declare the winner. Bhoo, Skree! and Dr. Dodo accompanied the boys to their sites.
- C Clayey: Plant has starved of air as the clay particles are tightly packed.
- C- Sandy: Plant has died as the sandy soil does not hold onto water..
- A Silt: Healthy plant as silt is home to many organisms, making soil fertile
- A+ Loamy: Happy plant as loamy soil is a mixture of all three, a perfect balance!
Arby’s sandy soil and Alby’s clayey soil had yielded tiny, withered, starving saplings. The real competition was between Alby’s silty soil and Arby’s loamy soil. Both saplings looked strong and healthy. But the one in the forest growing from the loamy soil was definitely taller, broader and stronger.
“So close! But you won, Arby”, admitted Alby. “What’s the prize, Dr Dodo?”
Dr Dodo cleared his throat, “Before we get to that, I’ve been meaning to ask you all about some mysterious muddy footprints in my lab…”