template tag.php | Displays the content of a tag

Humus per la Biosfera – Start of Soil Analysis

Group visit of project members on site ©Giacche Verdi Bronte

Further Information

The research takes place in three different fields near Bronte: An organic olive grove, a traditional organic olive-pistachio grove and an intensively cultivated almond-pistachio grove. The last two directly border each other and are well suited for a comparison of soil attributes and soil biodiversity between organic cultivation and pesticide and artificial fertiliser use. Already in the winter semester 21/22, we conducted a comparative arthropoda study here with interns.

Prof. Paolo Guarnaccia (second from left) from the University of Catania and his students took vertical soil samples for lab analysis of porosity, CO2-oxygen respiration and other factors.

Students and volunteers placed a metal ring in the ground, covered with foil, to distribute a certain amount of water evenly in the ring by quickly pulling away the foil. The time during which the water percolates into the earth gives clues about the soil’s porosity and compression.


Surrounded by volunteers Dr. Andrea Zimone (left) took topsoil samples for analyzing the soil biological quality, based on microarthropods.

Prof. Domenico Longo (above) measured the soil respiration. The lower part of his self made CO2 accumulation chamber is an empty cylinder, which is open above the ground. The upper part contains the electronics which are able to measure the rise of CO2 concentration from the ground, starting with the amount equal to the surrounding air (400 ppm). The soil releases CO2 from the microbial respiration – the faster the graph rises, the more microorganisms are present. The device also measures temperature, humidity and pressure.

The analysis will continue regularly.

EUKI in German TV: Report on Young Volunteers and Students within the Project Humus per la Biosfera

Two films were made from the material, which can be seen here:

“Sizilien abseits der Touristenpfade-Wo junge Freiwillige Abenteuer erleben” in German 29 min.

“Die brachliegende Kornkammer” in German 6 min.

Further Information

Film crew in sicily ©Giacche Verdi Bronte

Humus per la Biosfera: Indoor Environmental Education for School Children

©Giacche Verdi Bronte

In format of a comic story the previously created PowerPoint presentation informed about the relevance of humus growth for a healthy environment.

The children were interactively involved in small filtration experiments after the presentation and participated curiously, with great interest while asking many questions.

Further information

©Giacche Verdi Bronte

Now the project is about to start the second educational phase with the same children, deepening their knowledge by outdoor activities. Together with the same children compost boxes will be permanent installed in the schoolyards so that each school can actively produce its own humus.

©Giacche Verdi Bronte

©Giacche Verdi Bronte

©Giacche Verdi Bronte