By: Duane Blankenship | Category: Lawn & Garden | Issue: March 2016
Don Hansen serves as mentor for Soil Smart Partners, a startup company offering specialty soils for individuals and contractors.
Many people know Don Hansen and his Thunderbird Berry Farm, located east of Broken Arrow on Hansen Road (321st East Avenue), just south of 71st Street (Kenosha). Don has recently announced the formation of a new business, Soil Smart Partners, for which Hansen will serve as mentor. Soil Smart Partners is a startup company designed to provide individuals and landscaping companies with a source of quality materials as well as a place to dispose of leaves and grass clippings. Hansen explained that there will be two divisions of Soil Smart: a materials division that will serve contractors with fill dirt and topsoil, and a compost division to serve landscape specialists and gardeners. “In short,” said Hansen, “we have the dirt.”
Owners of Soil Smart Partners include Wes and Kristen Hedges, Michael Hansen, and Eric and Kristin Hansen and are Don’s grandchildren. The partners represent all the local schools (OSU, OU, TU and ORU) and have a wide spectrum of degrees from plant and soil sciences, engineering, microbiology and nursing, but they all want to minimize green landfill and make the world a little better than they found it.
Soil Smart can customize each order to meet specific needs after NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) testing your soil to determine its content. According to Don, “You wouldn’t want to use the same compost on your azaleas as you do on your tomatoes.” In addition to their standard compost blends, Soil Smart is able to enrich your material with pine bark, cotton burrs, pecan shells, vegetable compost, cow manure, gypsum, limestone and sulfur. They can blend topsoil from the Verdigris River Valley with Arkansas River sand for the perfect sandy loam.
“We need your leaves. We are set up to accept leaves and grass clippings free of charge, and we can take limbs and branches in a separate area,” said Don.
Drive to Soil Smart Partners in Broken Arrow by heading east of town on 71st Street (Kenosha) to 353rd E. Avenue (Lone Star Road). Turn north to the Soil Smart distribution area. Don invites you to put their quality product to the test by planting part of your garden with a customized product from Soil Smart and the balance without their custom formulated soil. “There’s going to be a marked difference between the plants grown in each area,” says Don, “because we have the dirt!”
Blankenship graduated from the University of Oklahoma and has enjoyed a lifetime career in advertising. He started his own advertising business in 1993 and enjoys creating graphic art and writing. Hobbies include hunting, fishing and pencil drawings. Duane and his wife, Janice, have been married over 50 years and are active in their church and community. He has been a contributing writer for Value News/Values Magazine since 2005.
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