We have spent much of our time this year celebrating. It is the first official International Year of Soil (IYS), coordinated by the Soil Science Society of America and the Global Soil Partnership. The purpose has been to increase awareness and understanding of the importance of soil for food security and essential ecosystem functions. Already this year, Rod Daniel (organic grower extraordinaire) has presented talks on soil health, we have spent a month in our summer youth series (Curiosity Camps) introducing soil to some inquisitive young minds, and Katrina Mendrey, Ravalli County Agriculture Extension Agent and bona fide Soil Scientist, engaged us in a lively conversation about soil.
Katrina is promoting a new category that has been added to the Ravalli County Fair: Compost.
We challenge each of you to enter in this category. Entry forms are due August 14th. You can fill them out online. It is quick, easy and free. Your entry does not need to be turned in until Sunday, August 30th.
Judging for this category will be based on odor, color, texture, moisture and uniformity. Entries need to be accompanied by an explanation of your process – more details can be found on page 11 of the Ravalli County Fair books.
Samantha O’Byrne, executive director of The O’Hara Commons is already planning her entry. Photos, descriptions of the process including a list of the beneficial creatures she has found in her compost pile over the years. And evidence of the creatures that she could not see.
Good, wholesome fun. It is not too late to celebrate the 2015 International Year of Soil. Join us and enter the compost category at the Ravalli County Fair.