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Proctor Farmers Market digs some dirt on Green Day

Proctor Farmers Market vendor Dan Borba pots vegetable starts in compost made by Bruce Larson. Larson will be one of the speakers on healthy soil at the market’s Green Day on Sept. 10, 2016.
Proctor Farmers Market vendor Dan Borba pots vegetable starts in compost made by Bruce Larson. Larson will be one of the speakers on healthy soil at the market’s Green Day on Sept. 10, 2016. Courtesy

It’s underfoot. It’s a chore to clean off. And it’s totally taken for granted. But dirt — or soil — is what grows our food and hosts more biodiversity than anywhere on the planet. On Saturday, Sept. 10, the Proctor Farmers Market digs deep into what makes good dirt, with talks, demonstrations and a sample garden for the market’s annual Green Day.

“It’s time to celebrate soil,” said Bruce Larson, a Green Day organizer in a press release. “All the great produce at the market depends on healthy soil. So we’ll be showcasing things we can do in our daily lives to protect soil and give it a lot more TLC.”

In the lineup to bring soil into the limelight is soil scientist Dr. Craig Cogger, who’ll share tips for building healthy soil. Walt Burdsall from the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department will talk about Tacoma’s legacy of lead and arsenic contamination, and how to protect your family from it, as well as avoiding chemical pesticides in general.

Larson, a keen composter, and Dan Switalski will answer questions about how to compost at home and why it’s key to improving your soil. Horticulturalist Katie Bach will have information on Cascade Compost, made locally from the stuff we put in our yard waste bins, while City of Tacoma environmental specialist Jetta Antonakos will explain the city’s food recycling process.

When you have dynamic soil, you can grow a better garden. Calendula Nursery’s Scott Gruber, who vends at the market, will create a demonstration garden to feature plants in a variety of soil types. Kids can make seedballs to plant, and there will be a buried treasure map, contests and prize drawings.

Rosemary Ponnekanti: 253-597-8568, @rose_ponnekanti

Green Day at the Market

When: 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Sept. 10.

Where: Proctor Farmers Market, North 27th and Madison streets, Tacoma.

Cost: Free.

Information: proctorfarmersmarket.com.

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