From seed to salad and beyond, radishes have been big this year at UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County. Now, worms are, too.
Each year, our 4-H program partners with our school gardens program, the Sarasota County 4-H Foundation and Master Gardener Volunteer members on the Radish Growing Project, aimed at teaching third-grade students basic vegetable planting and care. The project also teaches foundational science skills, like observational reporting.
We provide students with seeds, record-keeping workbooks, planting and growing instructions, and give teachers the tools and information they’ll need to run the project in their classrooms. At the end, we have a team of volunteer judges that looks over all the entries from the various schools, and awards ribbons and prizes to students.
Cool, right? (Hint: We think so.)
But, what happens to all the radishes after judging?
For the third year in a row, UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County added the element of composting to the project, in the form of activities and education. Our waste reduction program even provided composting bins for the contest judges at multiple locations in Sarasota and Venice, aiming to reduce the amount of food waste going to the landfill.
And, that’s where the worms come in. Radishes collected after judging eventually wound up in our vermicomposting (composting using worms) bins. The bins, part of our Composting Learning Center at our Twin Lakes Park office, showcase how residents (and anyone interested) can start composting with worms.
If you’re already composting, why not join us for a “Recycle Right!” workshop, where we discuss what’s happening in Sarasota County recycling, the challenges and benefits and more. And if want to get started composting, or want to brush up on some skills, check out one of our “Let’s Make Some Black Gold” events, where you can learn the do’s and don’ts and even buy a reduced-cost starter bin. Visit ufsarasotaext.eventbrite.com to find upcoming webinars (NOTE: Due to efforts to stem the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic and keep our community safe, we are transitioning in-person classes to online-only events).
- Composting: Contact Randall Penn, waste reduction agent, at 941-861-9900 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit sarasota.ifas.ufl.edu/compost
- 4-H: Contact Sarah Davis, 4-H agent, at 941-861-9900 or email@example.com, or visit sarasota.ifas.ufl.edu/4-h