POLK COUNTY FAIR 2018: Cultivating Activity Tent

Beekeeping is on the schedule at the Cultivating Family Activity Tent.

Need an easy way to see if the soil in your garden is healthy? Polk Soil & Water Conservation District will teach you to do that very thing — with a pair of underwear.

PSWCD staff will teach a chapter of Project Learning Tree’s “Forest, Worms and Birds, OHMY” call “Soil your panties” that has people use a pair of all-cotton underwear to test soil health.

If after a certain amount of months the cotton is eaten away, you know the microbes in your soil are doing their job.

“It will show people how to tell if you soil is crappy or working well,” said Karin Stutzman.

That is just one of the fun demonstrations fairgoers will find at the Cultivating Family Activity Tent, shared with Polk County OSU Extension near the playground at the fair.

“All of our programs are directed at kids or families,” Stutzman said.

People can experiment with smoothie recipes with “bicycle blender/rethink your drink,” which just as the name implies, has you mixing your drinks by pedal power.

In Nature Ball Terrariums you can create a hanging plant ball and learn about how plants clean the air, soaking up carbon dioxide to produce oxygen. The plants and pumice and provided by Darryll’s Nursery.

Beekeeper George Woodward returns with his hives and information about backyard beekeeping. This year he’s adding a honey stick maker too his presentation.

At 1 p.m. on Friday and Saturday Chintimini Wildlife Center will bring in two raptors for an hour long “Birds of Prey” presentation.

PSWCD, OSU Extension and Luckiamute Watershed District will have well water testing and handing out copies of the Natural Resources Conservation Service coloring books for children called “Mighty Microbes.”

The Cultivating Family Activities Tent is open 11 to 5 p.m. on all three days of fair.

“I’m looking forward to it being interactive and to have people learning something at the same time,” Stutzman said.

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