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This 4 part training gives a broad overview and introduction to some basic soil characteristics: phases (solid, liquid, gas), texture, density, structure, reaction (pH), plant-water relationships, organic matter, biology and nutrients. 

After some classroom discussion we went head out to into the ECHO Farm where we looked at soil profiles with different soil horizons to point out textural, color, density, and structural differences. Participants practiced determining soil texture by feel.

Special thanks to Dr. Landon Darilek for giving thes presentations at the ECHO Asia Small Farm Resource Center in Chiang Mai, Thailand June-Sept 2020. 

In addition to resources found here, Landon recommends the following resources as very helpful to this subject matter:

  • Best Primer: Soil Science Simplified, by Eash, Sauer, O'Dell, and Odoi
  • Best Overall Textbook: The Nature and Properties of Soils by Weil and Brady
  • Best Soil Nutrition Book for Laymen: The Art of Balancing Soil Nutrients by McKibben
  • Best Soil Fertility Textbook: Soil Fertility and Fertilizers by Havlin (this was a constant reference in my consultancy)
  • Best Soil Biology Textbook: Soil Health, Soil Biology, Soilborne Diseases and Sustainable Agriculture by Stirling, Hayden, Pattison, and Stirling
  • Timeless Classic: An Agricultural Testament by Sir Albert Howard


  1. Soil is teeming with life! What exactly lives in our soil?
  2. Part 1 of a1/2 day training gave abroad overview and introduction to some basic soil characteristics: phases (solid, liquid, gas), texture, density, structure, reaction (pH), plant-water relationships, organic matter, and nutrients. PART TWO / OUTDOOR DEMO After some classroom discussion we went...
  3. Why is organic matter important? What causes biological degradation? How can I assess my soil biology and how can I improve it? This training is the 4th in a series discussing soil science. This series of lectures and practical demonstrations gives a broad overview and introduction to some basic...
  4. 11-09-2020 Why is organic matter important? What causes biological degradation? How can I assess my soil biology and how can I improve it? This training is the 4th in a series discussing soil science.
  5. Composting is the natural process of 'rotting' or decomposition of organic matter by microorganisms under controlled conditions. Raw organic materials such as crop residues, animal wastes, food garbage, some municipal wastes and suitable industrial wastes, enhance their suitability for...
  6. This video is part TWO of a 1/2 day training on "Introduction to Soil Science." This training gives a broad overview and introduction to some basic soil characteristics: phases (solid, liquid, gas), texture, density, structure, reaction (pH), plant-water relationships, organic matter, and...
  7. This video is the outdoor demonstration of our 1/2 day training on "Introduction to Soil Science." This training gives a broad overview and introduction to some basic soil characteristics: phases (solid, liquid, gas), texture, density, structure, reaction (pH), plant-water relationships, organic...
  8. This 1/2 day training gave abroad overview and introduction to some basic soil characteristics: phases (solid, liquid, gas), texture, density, structure, reaction (pH), plant-water relationships, organic matter, and nutrients. After some classroom discussion we went head out to into the ECHO Farm...
  9. This video is Session 2 part 1 of our ongoing training on "Introduction to Soil Science." This training gives a broad overview and introduction to some basic soil characteristics: phases (solid, liquid, gas), texture, density, structure, reaction (pH), plant-water relationships, organic matter,...
  10. This video is Session 2 part 2 of our ongoing training on "Introduction to Soil Science." This training gives a broad overview and introduction to some basic soil characteristics: phases (solid, liquid, gas), texture, density, structure, reaction (pH), plant-water relationships, organic matter,...
  11. This training gives a broad overview and introduction to some basic soil characteristics: phases (solid, liquid, gas), texture, density, structure, reaction (pH), plant-water relationships, organic matter, and nutrients. After some classroom discussion we wentout to into the ECHO Farm wherewe...
  12. This video is Session 3 part 3 of our ongoing training on "Introduction to Soil Science." This training gives a broad overview and introduction to some basic soil characteristics: phases (solid, liquid, gas), texture, density, structure, reaction (pH), plant-water relationships, organic matter,...
  13. This video is Session 3 part 3 of our ongoing training on "Introduction to Soil Science." This training gives a broad overview and introduction to some basic soil characteristics: phases (solid, liquid, gas), texture, density, structure, reaction (pH), plant-water relationships, organic matter,...
  14. This video is Session 3 part 3 of our ongoing training on "Introduction to Soil Science." This training gives a broad overview and introduction to some basic soil characteristics: phases (solid, liquid, gas), texture, density, structure, reaction (pH), plant-water relationships, organic matter,...
  15. This training gives a broad overview and introduction to some basic soil characteristics: phases (solid, liquid, gas), texture, density, structure, reaction (pH), plant-water relationships, organic matter, and nutrients. After some classroom discussion we wentout to into the ECHO Farm wherewe...