Tag Archives | soil

Training the Trainer – Soil Health for School and Community Gardens

Photo by Kaci Rae Christopher

Healthy soil is made up of much more than silt, sand, and clay!

Clackamas SWCD has a long history of working with our local farmers and ranchers to develop good soil health practices for their crops, fields, and pastures. Now, with the support of the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), our partners at the Tualatin Soil and Water Conservation District, and the Gray Family Foundation, the Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District is bringing soil health education to K-8 teachers, school garden volunteers, and community gardeners by offering a FREE Soil Health Workshop on Saturday, October 8th, from 8:30 – 2:00, at Springwater Environmental Sciences School in Oregon City.

Why Does Soil Health Matter?

Healthy soils help to protect many of our natural resources, including maintaining animal and plant biodiversity, contributing to water quality, and storing carbon, which can help slow global warming.

Poor soil health leads to compaction, runoff, erosion, and loss of organic matter in soils.

School and community gardens provide a living laboratory for investigation-based learning. Working with soils gets kids outside and engaged in learning by doing. Teaching about soil prepares our students to better understand their world and to conserve natural resources throughout their lives. And now teachers have access to a soil curriculum that meets Next Generation Science Standards that makes soil health lessons attractive and appropriate for teachers and their students!

Photo by Kaci Rae Christopher

Springwater Environmental Sciences School Garden

What are we doing about it?

This October, Clackamas SWCD is delivering the same valuable information we already provide farmers to our teachers and garden managers. Our upcoming workshop, offered in collaboration with Springwater Environmental Sciences School and Clackamas County non-profit Food Waves, covers the basics of soil health, showing how to care for the soil in the garden with an emphasis on preparing for winter. Participants will have a chance to get their hands dirty while testing student activities. The workshop will also provide some guidance on attracting and managing volunteers.

  • Preparing for the Winter Garden: A FREE Soil Health Workshop for School & Community Gardens
  • Saturday, October 8, 2016
  • 8:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
  • Springwater Environmental Sciences School, Oregon City

For more information or to register for this workshop, please contact Cathy McQueeney at cmcqueeney@conservationdistrict.org or at 503-210-6012.


Test Your Soil for Better Pastures

Are you wishing your pastures were healthier, had fewer weeds, and produced more forage? The time to start working on improving your pasture is now!

Testing your soil to see what nutrients your pasture needs is recommended every three years. Applying soil amendments to meet the pasture’s needs saves money, time, and helps to protects water quality!

Have questions on pasture management? We can help! Contact the Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District.

Soil Testing web

The Power of a Raindrop

We protect our homes, our cars, our belongings from theft, but have you thought about your land that may be carried away right before your eyes? As the rain falls over the next few months, check your property to see if your soil is protected from loss due to the power of a raindrop.

Splash Erosion


Jory is Oregon’s State Soil

Jory: Oregon's State Soil

Did you know every state has a state soil? A state soil is a soil that has special significance to a particular state. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service maintains a list of these state soils.

In Oregon, our state soil is Jory. The Jory series consists of very deep, well-drained soils that formed in colluvium derived from basic igneous rock. These soils are in the foothills surrounding the Willamette Valley. They have been mapped on more than 300,000 acres in western Oregon. They are named after Jory Hill, Marion County, Oregon.

Jory soils generally support forest vegetation, dominantly Douglas fir and Oregon white oak. They are very productive forest soils. Many areas have been cleared and are used for agricultural crops.

The Jory soils and the climate of the Willamette Valley provide an ideal setting for the production of many crops, including Christmas trees, various berries, filberts (hazelnuts), sweet corn, wheat, and many varieties of grass seed. The soils are suitable for the grapes used in the expanding wine industry.

Growing urbanization of the Willamette Valley is resulting in a great deal of pressure for development in areas with Jory soils.

This information is from the Jory soil fact sheet produced by the USDA NRCS.


What is soil? Soil is commonly referred to as earth or dirt. Technically speaking, only displaced soil is properly called dirt. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services describes soil as: (i) The unconsolidated mineral or […]

Get started on your own!

This information comes directly from the Oregon office of the Natural Resources Conservation Service. We’ve copied it here for your convenience, but feel free to go to the source. STEPS for Healthy […]