By Sam Skopp
As part of an L.A. County-sponsored initiative to teach sustainable gardening practices, L.A.’s Smart Gardening Program hosted an advanced composting and vermicomposting workshop in Virginia Avenue Park this past Saturday.
Virtually every seat was filled by participants in the meeting room allocated for the workshop. A presentation given by one of Smart Gardening’s instructors included detailed information about how to obtain materials for composting as well as suggestions for building a better compost bin. Questions from the audience were interspersed throughout the discussion.
According to senior instructor Pamela Yates, the benefits of vermicomposting – or, composting with worms – are manifold. Compost-enriched soil is not only nutrient-rich but drought-resistant, requiring less water. Additionally, a jar of “worm tea,” which is a homemade worm compost-enriched liquid substance, is anaerobic, meaning it can kill unwanted plants.
“You’ll never have to buy another pesticide or fertilizer again,” said Yates.
This workshop was one of many which are held regularly in virtually every region of L.A. County, most of which are beginning workshops, meant to introduce participants to composting as well as water-resistant and fire-resistant gardening.
“If we get good attendance and good feedback we come back and do it again,” said Yates.
Smart Gardening also includes an educational initiative, teaching some of their gardening practices to children and teens in school. Following this initiative, three students whose projects were spurred by Smart Gardening’s initiatives were awarded college scholarships.
“The kids get into it. Worms become their pets,” “said Yates.
For a full list of workshops and Smart Gardening information, visit smartgardening.com.