We are so used to thinking of the soil as mere mineral matter that it comes quite as a shock toflnd thisisainistake. As a matter of fact, the layer of soft mold which olothes the ground in al! cultivable districts and from which vegetation springs is actually in great part a living layer of tiuy plants and animáis. Iuterlacing threads cf molds and fungi, worms and grubs, creeping iusects, tiny root parasites, deeaying leaves and the niillions of bacteria which spring from them - all these are jnixed and iniugled together for uiany inches down below our feet iu a contraed mars of life. Gemis of all sorts swarm in countless millions. Indeed, all the plants that grow and life that exists on the face of the earth owe their being to the fact that the grouud is alive. You take a shovelful of the flnest soil in the world and sterilize it - that is, beat it till all the life in it is destroyed - and theu plant seeds in it. No ainount of care or watering will make those seeds grow. Their life depends on the life in the soil arouud them.