Those interested in soil health and composting should mark their calendars for March 10 and attend the Community Soil Health and Compost Workshop. This event will feature industry specialists and experts who will provide the latest, research-based information on these topics.
The workshop is free and open to the public. It will take place from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Great Plains Technology center, 4500 SW Lee Blvd., in Lawton, Oklahoma.
Keima Kamara, Oklahoma State University Extension assistant state specialist with the Solid Waste Management Program, said the workshop is geared toward homeowners, gardeners and others who have an interest in soil health and composting. Topics on the agenda include soil health, organic recycling and vermicomposting, which is composting with worms.
“This will be a great workshop for those who are new to composting and soil health, as well as those who are familiar with these activities,” Kamara said. “Compost is simply organic material that can be added to soil to help plants grow. Food scraps and yard waste make up about 28 percent of what we throw away. By composting at home, you can use those materials in your compost bin and end up with a valuable additive to your soil. Plus, you’ll be saving space in the landfill.”
Blane Stacy, Oklahoma Conservation Commission, will be on hand to share his expertise on soil that has been treated with compost. He also will have a rainfall simulator demonstration. Susan Hart, a Master Gardener from Oklahoma City, will share information on vermicomposting and how to set up a worm bin. Kamara will talk about organic recycling and getting started with composting. In addition, attendees will have an opportunity to take part in a waste-sorting activity.
Composting requires browns, greens and water, which translates to dead leaves, branches and twigs; grass clippings, vegetable waste, fruit scraps and coffee grounds; and the right amount of water.
“It’s best to have equal parts of browns and greens. The brown materials provide carbon for your compost, the green materials provide nitrogen and water provides moisture to help break down the organic matter,” she said. “Not only does compost enrich your soil, it also reduces the need for chemical fertilizers, as well as reduces methane emissions from landfills and lowers your carbon footprint.”