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Ronzello to teach composting at ICC Polk Center Aug. 19

Organic gardener and farmer Jamie Ronzello will teach “Intro to Composting” at the ICC Polk Center in Columbus starting Monday, Aug. 19.

Ronzello will cover the down and dirty basics of compost building including materials to use and how to build and maintain a pile. Students will learn the proper uses of compost and what composting techniques are required for it to be used on a certified organic farm.

This class will also include a segment on vermicomposting and hands-on experience building an actual compost pile. The class will meet each Monday and Friday from 9:30 – 11 a.m. Aug. 19 – Sept. 6.

A native of Polk County, Ronzello has worked on and managed several farms from the Pacific Northwest to the South Pacific. She currently owns and operates a small organic farm on the island of Molokai, Hawaii, where all of the vegetables are grown with what she likes to call “beyond organics” or through the use of “biological farming.”

She doesn’t rely on bagged fertilizer but utilizes time-old techniques such as cover cropping, crop rotation, composting, rotational poultry management, intercropping and IPM management. Ronzello, owner and creator of Barking Deer Farm gourmet products, is also a passionate cook who focuses on using local fresh whole foods.

She has studied medicinal herbs for several years, apprenticed at the Herb Pharm in Williams, Oreg., is a certified master food preserver and is working towards her certificate in holistic nutrition consulting at the American College of Healthcare Sciences.

Ronzello also developed and managed a sustainable agriculture internship for a 15- acre biodynamic farm where she Ronzello to teach composting at ICC Polk Center Aug. 19 studied and practiced biodynamic farming for two years. To register or for more information, call Isothermal Community College Polk Center at 828-894-3092. – article submitted by Kate Barkschat