Composting and Austrian Scythe Workshop in Prairie Farm

Post date: Jul 28, 2012 12:56:0 AM

Gardeners large and small are invited to Prairie Farm to learn about using an Austrian scythe and making compost from an expert Monday evening, August 6th beginning at 6 PM. The workshop will be held at the home of Judy Ferber and Willie Williams of Prairie Farm.

Austrian Scythe

Botan Anderson will begin the workshop on the use of the Austrian scythe. He makes quick work of mowing grass and weeds, and harvests his own mulch, without the use of machines. He will demonstrate how to use the scythe by cutting a plot of cover crop for use in the compost-making demonstration that will follow. Anderson believes that “one good scythe per farm could revolutionize small-scale farming.” Anderson lives at Mystic Prairie Eco-Farm and Scythe Shop near Wilson. See his website at

Compost Expert

Jonathan M. Rivin will begin with a presentation followed by a compost building demonstration on the grounds. He believes composting is a great option for organic waste management, but it takes a bit of an effort to produce a good product. He will use a combination of the cover crop, garden waste, straw, and chicken bedding to build the compost pile. Rivin will touch briefly on vermicomposting, or composting with worms.

Rivin is a Waste Management Specialist with UW-Extension’s Solid and Hazardous Waste Education Center at the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point. He will also be holding on-farm workshops in Luck and Osceola earlier in the day for commercial-scale vegetable growers from throughout the northwest Wisconsin region. You can learn more about Rivin and his program at

Please plan to dress for the weather and bring a lawn chair. The workshop will be held rain or shine at 610 East Hepburn Street, Prairie Farm. From the intersection of Highways F and A in Prairie Farm, head east for three blocks on A. Turn right/south onto East Hepburn Street, and go to 610.

These talented men are donating their time for the workshop. If you are so inclined, please bring along some garden produce or other gifts from your home or gardens. Fresh, local foods are the best!

The workshop is co-sponsored by the Hay River Transition Initiative (HRTI), Northwest Wisconsin Regional Food Network, and the UW-Extension. For more information please contact Judy Ferber, at 715-455-2049,, and see the HRTI website at