LSU AgCenter extension agents in Ouachita Parish participated in Geaux Green with S.T.R.E.A.M Night at J.S. Clark Magnet School in Monroe on Thursday evening, March 23rd. Nutrition and SNAP-Ed Agent Cathy Again and Area Horticulturist Kerry Heafner demonstrated how students could use food scraps from the kitchen to generate something very beneficial for the garden. Plant-based kitchen scraps, such as strawberry tops and banana peels the students generated, can go through a composting process where soil microbes, earthworms, and insects break that material down into a nutrient-dense, organic soil amendment. Heafner, an inveterate composter himself, encourages all homeowners to start a compost pile so kitchen scraps, lawn waste such as grass clippings and fallen leaves, and tree debris such as dead branches or even wood chips can be converted into one of the most beneficial soil amendments available for gardens. “Homemade compost is singularly the best soil amendment home gardeners can use. It's an organic amendment that will help break up clay soils. It’s a wonderful shot of nutrients, too.” says Heafner. Composting is a wonderful way to recycle. “This material is kept out of the landfill and is recycled into a material that allows carbon to be put back into the earth’s soil. Gardens, both vegetable and ornamental, flourish.” Heafner continued.
S.T.R.E.A.M is an acronym for Science, Technology, Robotics, Engineering, Art, and Music, and students at J.S. Clark moved from room to room with their parents and participated in activities that spanned the S.T.R.E.A.M spectrum. The Ouachita Parish Extension Office has been very involved with J.S. Clark Magnet School for several years in various capacities, and it’s a relationship we hope will continue for years to come.
Area Horticulturist Kerry Heafner explains to a student at J.S. Clark
Magnet School how the composting process turns banana peels and
strawberry tops into a beneficial soil amendment for the garden.
Ouchita Parish SNAP-Ed Agent Cathy Agan helps a student at J.S. Clark cut a piece of banana and remove the peel.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture