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Workshop will examine mysteries of soil, compost in gardening

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Kelly McGowan, horticulture educator with MU Extension, harvests garlic from the Master Gardeners Demonstration Garden in 2015

Kelly McGowan, horticulture educator with MU Extension, harvests garlic from the Master Gardeners Demonstration Garden in 2015

MU Extension will host a “Soil and Compost Advanced Training” from 5-7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 2, in the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center, 2400 S. Scenic Ave., Springfield, Mo.

That dark substance that supports the growth of our plants is infinitely interesting, says Kelly McGowan, horticulture educator, MU Extension.

Patrick Byers, MU Extension horticulture specialist, discusses berries during a workshop.

Patrick Byers, MU Extension horticulture specialist, discusses berries during a workshop.

“There are mysteries that we are only beginning to understand concerning the soil,” said McGowan. “What we do know is that the soil is a system, based on dynamic characteristics – chemical characteristics, physical characteristics, and biological characteristics.”

These characteristics are intertwined, and a healthy garden soil is a balanced system.

The soil and compost advanced training will investigate ways to evaluate the characteristics of the soil – chemical, physical, and biological.

Attendees are welcome to bring a soil sample to class for discussion and investigation. A special emphasis on soil organic matter and composting will round out the discussion.

This class will be taught by Patrick Byers, horticulture specialist for MU Extension. The class has a registration fee of $20 per person. To register, visit the gift shop inside the Botanical Center or call (417-874-2949).

George Freeman is a veteran journalist and photographer. An award-winning writer, editor and columnist in Springfield, Mo., with more than 50 years experience. His preference is for positive and uplifting stories about people, places, traditions and trends that make the Ozarks one of the most livable regions anywhere. A member of the Garden Writers Association of America, he is a past-president of the Society of Professional Journalists of Southwest Missouri, the Kansas and Ohio AP societies; a board member of Friends of the Garden and a member of the Rotary Club of Springfield. In 1976, he traveled to India as a member of a Rotary Foundation Group Study Exchange Team.

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