Resident artist to demystify 'Worms'

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Margaretville — The Andes Sprouts Society will present resident artist Sam Hammer who will give a workshop describing his scientific and artistic studies on the humble but fascinating topic, “Composting Worms” on Saturday, Sept. 15 at 3 p.m. in the Community ArtSpace in the Commons Building on Main Street.

Hammer, an associate professor of biology at Boston University, is on sabbatical this year and was selected by the Roxbury-based Andes Sprouts Society to be a resident artist at its mobile artist studio which is located in Stamford.  

“My project has two segments: I am studying worm ecology with composting earthworms and then I am making art based on worm ecology.” 
The worm has profound impacts in the world of agriculture.

“They live in a complex community of other organisms. They ingest soil, along with many bacteria and other microbes, and excrete digested soil, bacteria, and released nutrients. I have compared the chemical constituents of compost tea with that of a commercially made fertilizer and found that the compost consists of a significantly greater diversity of micronutrients,” said Hammer.

He continued, “I think we can implicate the complexity of organic compost in the response of the plants fertilized with it. The beauty of it is that any kid could start a worm composter using coffee grounds, egg crates and of course worms. The worm composter is surprisingly clean and doesn’t produce any odor.” Hammer’s presentation will include video and still images derived from his work, information on composting with worms, and provide attendees at the workshop with starter worm composters.

Andes Sprouts Society is a cooperative non-profit that actively engages artists, technologists and farmers at farms and orchards in development projects that creatively address issues and applications of emergent technologies and organic farming. For the 2012 season, the Sprouts residency cottage will be situated at the Goldenheart Unidiversity Farm and directly adjacent to Michael Kudish’s Natural History Preserve in Stamford.

The small farm is a diversified with livestock, bees and vegetable and flower gardens which will sponsor three specific projects in which Sprouts Society resident artists may collaborate.  Those projects include honey bee workshops, animal husbandry, and botanical identification of specimens in the preserve with Dr. Michael Kudish. For more information visit website at http://andessproutsresidency.wordpress.com/.

The “Community ArtSpace” is administered by the Catskill Mountain Artisans’ Guild. Funded in part by the Small Business Development Fund administered by the MARK Project with additional support from the O’Connor Foundation, Arc of Delaware County, Kids in the Kaatskills and the Catskill Mountain Artisans’ Guild. Call: 845-586-3443 or Visit: www.catsguild.org.