Manitoba

Soil your undies, literally: eco group

Normally most folks would want to keep their white underwear, well, white — but a new campaign is challenging that custom and hopes to see gitch soiled.

To test the soil health of your garden, a pair of white cotton gitch is all you need

The Soil Conservation Council of Canada is encouraging Canadians to bury white underwear (Soil Conservation Council of Canada)

Normally most folks would want to keep their white underwear, well, white — but a new campaign is challenging that custom and hopes to see gitch soiled.

"It's not just a fun activity. There's a serious point to this," Jim Tokarchuk, executive director of the Soil Conservation Council of Canada, explained in a phone interview from Winnipeg.

The soil watchdog is encouraging Canadians to bury a pair of cotton gitch six inches in the ground to test the quality of the dirt and then dig it up after two months.

If the dirt is healthy and biologically active, there will be no stains to clean.

"The elastic band will be there and the underwear will have disappeared," Tokarchuk said.

He said if the underwear hasn't decomposed, it's a clear message the soil isn't healthy.

"It's telling you that the level of biological activity in the soil needs to be improved and there's many ways you can do that."

Tokarchuk said laughs aside, it's important to be talking about soil health.

"We all rely on it for safe, reliable food."

About the Author

​Austin Grabish landed his first byline when he was just 18. He joined CBC in 2016 after freelancing for several outlets. ​​In 2018, he was part of a team of CBC journalists who won the Ron Laidlaw Award for the corporation's extensive digital coverage on asylum seekers crossing into Canada. This past summer, he was on the ground in northern Manitoba covering the manhunt for B.C. fugitives Bryer Schmegelsky and Kam McLeod, which attracted international attention. Email: austin.grabish@cbc.ca