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Natural Awakenings Washington DC Metro

Hooray for Worms and Much More

Mar 27, 2015 04:12PM
Join Sacred Roots D.C. for a series of classes throughout the month of April, as part of their work to bring education, services, events and advocacy efforts that promote the ancient ways of living in right relationship with the Earth, to create a healthy community and world. The classes are: Earth-Friendly Cleaning Products from The Kitchen Cabinet on April 4 and two classes, Organic Gardening in Containers and Hooray for Worms: Vermicomposting 101 on April 25. All the classes will be held at the Green Farmacy Garden in Fulton, Maryland.

As part of the classes, discussion will focus on how the plants we grow for food, medicine or simple beauty are only as good as the health of the soil. It's a common misconception that we should “feed the plants”, when in reality it's more beneficial to focus on the quality of the soil. Bargain potting soil can be alluring, but the results are food that lacks vitality and attracts insects, herbs that lack potency and flowers that may not be as robust as they could be. There are a multitude of Earth-friendly options to choose from when considering soil health.

For those who are unable to attend (or just want more information), class leader Hillary Banachowski suggests looking for peat-free organic potting soil. Coir fiber, a waste by-product from the coconut-processing industry, is more friendly to peat bogs. For those looking to make their own potting soil, rotted sawdust, sand, leaf mold, worm castings and compost are a few examples of easily accessible ingredients you can use, with many more soil recipes online. Finally, add organic matter to introduce and promote healthy microbes and bacteria.

Compost and compost tea are nature's best fertilizer and are readily available thanks to the decomposition process. You can benefit by creating a compost pile in your own yard, starting a worm composting system, or by buying compost from your local organic farmer, or public works department, such as the city of College Park that makes excellent compost. For those with more growing space, aged manure, nitrogen rich cover crops and organic chicken poop also make excellent soil amendments.

For more information on the classes or the work of Sacred Roots, visit


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