With Soil Festival 2017 around the corner, the Food Well Alliance team is working with community partners in Atlanta’s local food movement to prepare for this annual event that will bring awareness to using compost to improve and maintain high quality soil and to grow healthy food.
This year’s Soil Festival will be held on May 6, 2017 and Truly Living Well’s Collegetown Farm and will feature a petting zoo, educational workshops and delicious, locally grown treats.
From viewing hobby worms to meeting furry animals in a petting zoo, there will be a variety of exhibitors on hand to tell you more about their work and share resources and tools to help you enjoy the successes of gardening.
Check out some of the exhibitors who you will get to meet next month during Soil Festival 2017:
West End Community Urban Garden (Have you ever tasted Ms. Haylene The Garden Queen’s herbal tea? You’re in luck she’ll have some with her for you to taste!)
Captain Planet Foundation (We’ve heard they’ll be bringing some wiggly friends who help recycle food scraps to make compost)
UGA Cooperative Extension
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
Truly Living Well
Engineers for a Sustainable World Natural Herbicides Project
Georgia Tech Honey Bee Project
In addition to exhibitors, this year’s Soil Festival will also offer complimentary soil testing through soilSHOP, a joint effort by Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, the Georgia Department of Health and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
If you are interested in having a complimentary soil screening, here’s what you will need to do to collect a single soil sample to have tested during Soil Festival.
Collecting a Single Soil Sample
Step 1: Identify an area of interest for your soil sample.
Step 2: Collect Soil - For a large area, collect soil from 5-10 random spots in that area, and combine in a clean container. For a small area, collect soil from 3 random spots and combine in a clean container. (See table below for sampling depth per spot.)
Step 3: Mix soil well in clean container.
Step 4: Remove pebbles, rocks, and roots, and air dry. Do not use a flame, oven or hairdryer to dry the soil! Step 5: Transfer 1 - 2 cups of the mixed soil into a clean one-quart Ziploc bag.
Note: For more than one sample, repeat steps 1-5. Rinse your container between samples. Limit of 2 sample bags/person. Samples for screening only accepted until 4:00 pm, in order to have time for processing.
Area of Interest Sampling depth for each random spot (inches)
1. Garden Area Collect all soil from the surface down to 6-8 inches deep
2. Play area/non garden area Collect all soil from the surface down to 1-2 inches deep
Bring your chairs and blankets to lounge outside and join fellow garden members, family, friends and neighbors to learn how each of us can help to preserve soil and continue growing healthier communities at Soil Festival.