On September 28, 2011 our BEETS (Band of Environmentally Educated and Employable Teens) learned about soil testing from BEETS volunteer,advisory board member, and SFSU Environmental Studies student, Jason Boarde. A soil test is a process by which elements (phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, sulfur, manganese, copper and zinc) are chemically removed from the soil and measured for their “plant available” content within the sample. The quantity of available nutrients in the sample determines the amount of fertilizer that is recommended. A soil test also measures soil pH, humic matter and exchangeable acidity. These analyses indicate whether lime is needed and, if so, how much to apply.