In this issue:

  • Fall Soil Testing
  • Nontraditional Giving
  • Teter Retreat Grant
  • CISMA Formation
  • Put your Garden to Bed
  • New Hires
  • Garden Tour Highlights Backyard Prairies
  • HCSWC Partners to Install Garden Tower
  • New Ag Research Program
  • So What to do with all those Fall Leaves
  • 1,000 Servings of Garden Vegetables Donated 
  • Fall Recipe
  • Green Infrastructure Training
 

Upcoming Events:

  • Hamilton County Invasive Species Management Planning Meeting
    November 20, 12-2pm
  • Sustainable Agriculture Summit
    November 20-21, 2019 Learn more here
  • HOA Stormwater Landscape Maintenance Workshop
    December 5, 2019
  • SWCD Annual Meeting
    Save the date: February 20, 2020

Fall Soil Testing

Should I be soil testing right now? Soil testing in the fall can give you more time to address and correct your soil issues before spring planting. A basic test looks for organic matter, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, cation exchange capacity, pH, and buffer pH. Checking your soil not only promotes environmental quality, it can also save money that might otherwise be spent on unneeded lime and fertilizer. 

For more information on the benefits of soil testing see our website at the link below. 

 
 

Nontraditional Giving-Give Back to your Soils

We at Hamilton County SWCD propose a new way to give back this holiday season that will ultimately improve the health and well-being of everyone by giving back to our soils. When we give back in this way the impact you can make to our society will last for many years to come. Our soils nourish us, protect us from pollutants, and give us structure and stability--and they need our help! There are several ways to give back to our soils and see results.

Soil is always a great way to give back to yourself, neighbors, community, and future generations. No matter if the urge to give back stems from religion, a desire to participate in the community, or just because you want to be selfless this season--giving back to our soils can satisfy these needs! This is because when we give back to our soils and natural resources, we improve the quality of life for everyone.

 

Are you concerned about invasive species in Hamilton County?

The SWCD is leading the formation of a Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area in Hamilton County. Join us for a planning meeting on November 20th.

Learn more and RSVP here!

 

Put Your Garden to Bed for the Winter

For many gardeners the summer vegetables have stopped producing and now it's time to prepare for spring by putting your garden to bed. To ensure your soil is alive and recharged for next spring, consider doing these steps we've compiled for you.
 

New Faces in the Office

We'd like to welcome our new Conservation Technician and Outreach Assistant Taylor Wilson. Taylor is recent Ball State University graduate with my Bachelors in Natural Resources and Environmental Management and a minor in plant biology. View her introduction here!

 

This year we are happy to host TWO Noblesville High School seniors from the Noblesville HS Internship Program. Welcome Madison and Makayla. View their introductions here!

 

Garden Tour Highlights Backyard Prairies

Our suburban backyards are often sterile affairs -- little diversity, many non-native plants, and a lot of time and effort mowing grass areas that aren't heavily utilized. While adding in native plants is a great start toward making a backyard a more ecologically vibrant environment, so much more is possible! The two properties featured in our August pop up garden tour are proof that you don't have to have acreage or native plants expertise to have a beautiful, functional, suburban backyard prairie!

 

HCSWCD Partners with Be Well Family Care and Kiwanis Club 

This growing season the Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District partnered with Be Well Family Care in Carmel by providing a Garden Tower™. The Garden Tower™ is like a super-planter capable of growing up to 70 or more plants within a very small space while also having the ability to create its own compost...

 

New Ag Research Program Started in 2019

A new research program was initiated and offered to farmers in Hamilton County earlier this year regarding cover crops and how they affect the soil environment. We at Hamilton County SWCD are working in partnership with Beck’s Hybrids and Indiana Soy on a long-term study to see if there are identifiable differences in soils that have cover crops planted on them and soils that do not. This is a voluntary program that several farmers in Hamilton County elected to participate in...

2019 Plat Books are now available!

Stop by the office or order online.

 

So What to do With All those Fall Leaves?

One of the most beautiful things about Fall in Indiana is the changing leaf colors! However, fall presents the task of deciding what to do with leaves once they are down. In the past people have done everything from raking leaves into piles and burning them to putting them in bags for trash day. Now, there are better options--maybe some you have never considered--that can help promote your soil and water health.

 

1,000 Servings of Surplus Garden Vegetables Donated to Local Food Pantry

In just seven weeks, the Hamilton County SWCD office successfully collected 119 lbs. of peppers, tomatoes, squash, and zucchini from local gardeners that were then donated to local food pantries in Hamilton County. To put that weight in perspective, 119 lbs. is approximately 1,000 USDA food servings. That's a lot of food!

 

Foraging in Late Fall: Recipe and What to Look For

Foraging can be a great way to reap the benefits of protecting your soil and water resources. There can be wild edible plants as close as in your own backyard, if you know what to look for. Foraging and cooking can be great ways to not only connect with your natural environment, but also to connect with people around you. 

 

Upcoming Training for HOA Leadership

In many cities and towns, homeowner associations (HOAs) own and are required to maintain some of the stormwater infrastructure in their neighborhoods, including ponds, swales, check dams, shoreline plantings, rain gardens, pervious paving, and other features located on common property. This workshop will help you understand what you've got, what the requirements are, and how to stay in compliance.

This is also a great workshop for HOA reps or individuals who are interested in creating or installing green infrastructure.

This event will be December 5 from 9 am-3:30 pm in Noblesville.

 
 
 

Teter Retreat and Organic Farm Receives Grant to Install New Wildlife Trail

Teter Retreat and Organic Farm, in partnership with The Indiana Wildlife Federation, received a grant from Duke Energy Foundation to add a new nature trail to their property. Teter Retreat and Organic Farm sits on 125 acres and is located near Strawtown. Well known for their participation in local farmer's markets providing organic produce, Teter is also home to many acres of river habitat along the White River. Like many areas along the river, the native species are threatened by invasives such as Asian Bush Honeysuckle and Callery Pear. This grant is intended not only to provide recreation at a beautiful site, but also open the site up to restoration efforts to remove invasives and enhance wildlife habitat. 

 
 

Affiliate Members

Affiliate membership dollars support conservation and education in our county! Join us in thanking these great supporters!

Affiliate levels are available for all personal and business budgets. Visit our affiliate membership page to see how you can support your SWCD.

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Hamilton County SWCD
1717 Pleasant St., Suite 100 | Noblesville, Indiana  46060
3177732181 | soil.water@hamiltoncounty.in.gov

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