If you are a gardener, a big bag of dark steaming nutritious dirt to spread around the parched plants is wonderful. If it stinks, so much the better.
If you are a gossip columnist and someone rings you up with the latest dirt on a celebrity or political figure, you dive for the pencil and paper. Not to be missed!
If you are a scratch builder you have to go out and dig up the dirt yourself, but you are very selective; it must be the correct colour and very finely ground. organic fragments must be of the sort not to give the game away. You might resort to expensive weathering materials from the hobby shop, but I’ll bet you occasionally do a scrape round inside the pot plants to see if anything useful is growing. Inveterate weatherers have been knownto bring rust flakes home in their pockets. They all have some sort of an improvised mortar and pestle to grind the dirt finer.
The search for a binding agent is also never-ending. Matte varnish, acrylic liquids, paint, thinned glue, and hairspray have all been tried – sometimes in multi-layer combos. The goal of reliable sticking with no shedding and no colour change to the dirt is eagerly sought-for. Sometimes it works – sometimes it all flakes off and you have to start over again.
The real trick would seem to be to have the dirt as light-coloured as possible and yo layer it up. Also to go out and observe where it swirls to and collects in the real world. Don’t be ashamed to live in a slightly grubby world – it is the real one.
Now go wash your hands…