and some gritty sand
and some jars full of sand
and two little boys who didn't use chairs
and some jars and a ghost
and some sprouts, but no toast!
But really, we were winding down from our Winogradsky project. Yes, you at home can grow lovely pet bacteria in your own jar. It's easy--so easy that when the teens finished, and the younger kids were totally interested in setting up their own columns.
|Winogradsky column (with very watery top) day 1.|
|Oh, can't quite see the Storm Trooper.|
Back in Alice's Test Kitchen, we sorted our samples, and added a few ingredients: Sea salt (coarse), cloves (will they inhibit growth?), fresh water, a magnet to attract magneto-bacteria, and foil for those who want to see samples grown in the dark.
The procedure is simple:
Layer all ingredients in the jar, with an ample supply of cellulose (we used the cardboard from an empty 18-egg box, torn into bits by industrious children). We started with gravel and sand, added cellulose, egg or Brussel sprout, egg shell or sea shell (crushed), muck from the low tide zone (any black muck or topsoil will do), and odds and ends...a pocket of sea salt, a pocket of pepper, a pocket of ground cloves (anything you can think of!). And we s-l-o-w-l-y added water, fresh or salt. Some left lids loose, some tightened their lids. Some covered the columns with foil for darkness, while some left them in full or dim light.
Since I was busy with the teens doing the project, most of the photos are taken with a younger bacteriologist modeling the process. Here's Miss C's work:
|Note aforementioned ghost.|
|Isn't it amazing how everything looks delicious in Alice's Test Kitchen, even the muck?|
|Mr. N and his Winogradsky column--he added a pocket of sea salt in hopes of growing a pink halophile colony.|
|Youngest boy found the banana a more interesting subject.|
What happens next? We wait and see what grows. Check back, and see!