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Workshop to review hay bale gardening, vermiculture

HUNTSVILLE – Two interesting but unusual topics will be the focus at an upcoming workshop, sponsored by North Alabama Master Gardeners Inc.

The “Hay Bales and Wormbeds” workshop on Jan. 16 will be held at Alabama A&M University’s Agribition Center, 4925 Moores Mill Road in Huntsville. The workshop hours will be 10 a.m. to noon.

Participants will learn how to maximize their potential with gardening in a limited space, along with ways to compost in small spaces and to improve and enrich the soil. In an out-of-the-ordinary project, home gardeners will have an introduction to making a vermicomposting bin to keep worms healthy and happy.

“You can expand your gardening space, improve your soil and get worms to eat your garbage,” publicist and Master Gardener Nareatha Studdard said. “Vegetable gardening with hay bales is a unique way to have a garden with limited space, or when soil is poor.”

Participants will review the methods of conditioning bales of hay for vegetable growing. “You can discover tricks to make a successful hay bale garden.”

A worm bed, or vermicomposting, is an interesting method of composting in small spaces. The workshop will show participants how to make a vermicompost bin and some ways to keep your worms healthy and happy.

The workshop presenter will be Allyson Shabel, a graduate of Mississippi State University with a bachelor’s degree in ornamental horticulture. Currently, Shabel is working on a master’s degree in plant and soil sciences at Alabama A&M University.

Shabel worked at Huntsville Botanical Garden for 10 years as a horticulture specialist. Since 2014, she has been associated with Alabama Cooperative Extension System as a Regional Agent for Home Grounds and Natural Resource Management in Morgan and Lawrence counties.

The workshop is free, but seating will be limited. Individuals who want to attend can register mginfo.org/workshops.

Master Gardeners of North Alabama Inc. is an all-volunteer, non-profit fully qualified 501(c)3 organization. Membership dues, donations and fundraising efforts support and fund the group’s activities. The North Alabama Chapter is an active member of the Alabama Master Gardener Association.

For more information, visit Facebook/Master Gardeners of North Alabama.

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