The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) has been hosting an On-Farm Composting & Compost Use webinar series this fall designed to support a distributed and diverse composting infrastructure that includes on-farm and community-scale composting. “The series has aimed to elevate the tremendous potential of high quality compost to regenerate soil health, improve farm resilience and profitability, and support critical ecosystem services at a crucial time for our farms and our planet,” notes Linda Bilsens Brolis with ILSR’s Composting for Community Initiative. “Our outreach has been to farmers and other soil stewards in the movement to return nutrients to the soil via composting. To date, the series has engaged more than 230 farmers from 37 states, plus Puerto Rico and 10 other countries.” The series is a collaboration with the Million Acre Challenge, of which ILSR is a founding member, and Bilsens Brolis is project manager. The Million Acre Challenge is supporting farmers in implementing healthy soils practices and regenerative agriculture on one million acres of farmland in Maryland and the Chesapeake region by 2030.
The last installments are on December 7 and December 14, both at 12:00 PM-1:30 PM Eastern. The December 7 webinar — Compost – Soil – Plant: Putting the Many Facets Together — features Dr. Will Brinton, Chief Science Officer and Founder of Woods End Laboratories. Brinton will discuss the quantitative benefits of compost on soil and plant health, the importance of compost quality, and how to decipher compost application rates. He will also describe how compost can be used as a tool for enhancing nutrient cycling on farms while protecting water quality. Registration is free for farmers, and $20 for others.
On December 14 (12:00 PM-1:30 PM Eastern), the final webinar in the series — Using & Selling Compost from Community Sites — reviews fundamentals such as how to read a compost lab test and what constitutes high-quality compost. Dr. John Spargo of Penn State’s Agricultural Analytical Services Lab, and a panel of community-based composters who distribute and/or sell their compost for specific uses, will be the featured speakers. Participation is free for farmers and for members of the Community Composter Coalition. Click this link to learn more and to register.