Apply by today for Compost Course grants

If you’re interested in attending the Ohio Compost Operator Education Course on March 21-22 in Wooster, four grants are available to help you pay for some of your costs. But act fast: the deadline to apply for them is today, Monday, Feb. 26.

Two $225 grants are being offered to members of the Organics Recycling Association of Ohio (ORAO), which is hosting the course together with CFAES, and two $150 grants are being offered to nonmembers.

Get details on the grants and an application form.

A refresher on how you can have the rot stuff

Got grass clippings to get rid of? Rotten radishes to remove? Dead daffodils to dump?

In the video above, Pam Bennett of CFAES’s outreach arm, OSU Extension, says don’t waste them: turn them into soil-building, Earth-friendly compost.

Bennett, among other things, coordinates Extension’s statewide Master Gardener Volunteers program and is co-author of 2015’s Garden-pedia: An A-to-Z Guide to Gardening Terms.

Dig into large-scale composting

Hands holding soil with young plant.The Ohio Compost Operator Education Course, called a “comprehensive program on the science and art” of large-scale compost production, is March 28-29 at CFAES’s research arm, OARDC in Wooster. Of note: Four new professional development grants are being offered to help pay for the cost of attending. Apply for them by March 1.

The challenge? Do both: Waste less food, AND compost what’s wasted

Two key ways to manage food waste — educating people about it and composting it — seem to work at odds, Marion Renault wrote last week in the Columbus Dispatch, reporting on research by CFAES’s Danyi Qi and Brian Roe.

That is, the researchers found, people will waste more food if they know it will be composted — by, say, the restaurant that served it. But they’ll waste less if they know about such issues as filled-up landfills and the harmful methane dumped food waste puts in the air.

The challenge, Qi said in the story, is to get the two methods — education and composting — working not in conflict but in harmony. Read the story.

You gonna eat that? Farmer-friendly ways to fight food waste: OEFFA conference preview

Food waste continues to be in the news, and a panel discussion at the Feb. 9-11 Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association annual conference will feature how farmers are fighting it.

Abbe Turner of Kent’s Lucky Penny Farm will share how she cuts food waste via animal feed and composting.

Max Slater of St. Stephen’s Community House in Columbus will discuss using the operation’s EPA Class II composting facility to process spoiled food.

Sabrina Schirtzinger of OSU Extension, CFAES’s outreach arm, will describe the successful gleaning program she helped start in Knox County.

Go to “Farmer-Friendly Approaches to Combating Food Waste,” Session IV, 8:30-10:30 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 11. Complete conference schedule.