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Organic Soil Workshop Set for April 27

April 17, 2013

Learn organic methods for building soil fertility at a Kerr Center workshop from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 27, from 9-5, at center headquarters. 
Registration, due by April 22, costs $35 and includes lunch. Space is limited. 
For more information call the center at (918) 647-9123, or visit www.kerrcenter.com to see the workshop schedule/agenda and to register.
Participants will learn ways to improve the soil on their farm or in their garden.  
Making compost, vermicompost, compost tea, and biochar will be the focus. Commercial and do-it-yourself approaches to increasing the numbers of effective microorganisms in the soil will also be covered.
The Kerr Center’s certified organic horticulture plots are managed using these techniques along with cover crops and rotations. Feeding this “soil food web” is a key strategy for building healthy soil, said Horticulture Manager George Kuepper.
Soil health specialist Steve Diver, consultant Luke Freeman, and Kerr Center staff will be featured at the event.
“Steve is one of the most knowledgeable people around when it comes to the soil food web,” Kuepper said.
Diver has 30 years of experience working in organic and sustainable agriculture, originally as an OSU Extension horticulturist-agriculture agent in Muskogee and McIntosh counties.
He developed an interest in soil health as an agriculture specialist with ATTRA, the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service, in northwest Arkansas. Diver has lectured and published widely on organic production topics. 
The workshop is part of the center’s Resilient Farmer project, supported by a Conservation Innovation Grant from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.
The project teaches organic and transitioning farmers how to reduce costs and labor, while building soil fertility and minimizing weeds, insect pests, and plant diseases.

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