By: Duane Blankenship | Category: Lawn & Garden | Issue: April 2018
Don Hansen is a well known northeastern Oklahoma farming and ranching entrepreneur. Already in the farming and cattle business prior to the origination of Thunderbird Berry Farm, he has parlayed the Thunderbird entities to also include cattle ranching, vegetable farming, quality top soils and compost. All aspects of the Thunderbird organization are under the same management team, many of whom are Hansen relatives.
Most of the operations are located east of Broken Arrow on Hansen Road (321st E. Ave.) just south of 71st Street (Kenosha). Soil Smart Headquarters is located a quarter mile north of East 71st on 353rd East Avenue (Lone Star Rd.).
Hansen’s latest brainchild was in 2016 with the formation of Soil Smart Partners. It is spearheaded by three of his grown grandkids with Don serving as their mentor. The company specializes in specialty soils for individual gardeners and professional contractors. Now entering their second growing season, Soil Smart offers quality top soils and compost for any gardening need.
Owners of Soil Smart Partners include: Wes Hedges, Oklahoma State University, MS Plant & Soil Science; Kristen Hansen Hedges, Oklahoma State University, BS Plant & Soil Science; Michael Hansen, Oklahoma University, BS Micro Biology; and Eric Hansen, Tulsa University, BS Petroleum Engineering.
The company has two Divisions: The Materials Division serves contractors with fill dirt and topsoil. The Compost Division serves landscape specialists and gardeners. “Whatever you’re planning to grow, we’ve got the dirt,” says Wes. “We utilize organic wastes, such as leaves and lawn clippings, to recycle and transform into nutrient dense compost.” They also accept leaves, branches and lawn clippings free of charge. All you have to do is deliver them to the location north of East 71st on 353rd East Avenue.
Top soil and compost may be purchased in bulk by the truck load, trailer load or pickup load. A potting mix, available in easy-to-handle 25 lb. bags, has been formulated with the essential elements for growing strong, healthy plants and is recommended for raised beds or container plantings. Orders may also be customized to include additional amendments such as pine bark, gypsum or limestone. “Tell us what you plan to do with your soil,” says Kristen, “and we will gladly recommend ingredients to satisfy your desires and improve quality and production of your plants and crops. Area Azaleas, for example, commonly desire an acidic mixture while tomatoes thrive on a neutral mix.”
Soil Smart is contributing top soil and compost to Emerson Elementary School in Tulsa for their Student Urban Gardening Day. “We’re donating materials for the project,” said Kristen, “and have recommended that each student does a planting and grows their chosen variety in a gardening container.”
Take the challenge. “Plant part of your garden this spring with a customized product from Soil Smart and the balance of your garden without,” says Wes. “We think you’ll see a marked difference in your plants, because we’ve got the dirt.”
Soil Smart Partners is a company specializing in specialty soils satisfying the needs of both individual gardeners and professional contractors. The Management Team (pictured below) includes Michael Hansen, Eric Hansen, Wes Hedges and Kristen Hansen Hedges.
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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