Composting 101 Recap

On Sunday, January 15, the Green Sanctuary Committee sponsored a composting workshop presented by Tomme Maile and Amy Newday.  About a dozen People’s people attended.

Composting involves layering carbon sources (leaves and other brown, woody material); wet, fresh vegetable scraps; and dirt.  This helps the food scraps decompose, and results in rich soil which can be used for gardening.

There are many benefits of composting.  It helps maintain topsoil, reduces garbage and yard waste put into landfills, and adds organic matter back into the soil.  As it helps maintain healthy topsoil, it also reduces the need for potentially harmful fertilizers.

Tomme and Amy were a wealth of knowledge. They discussed hot composting, a faster decomposition process, and cold composting, which is slower.  Hot composting has the additional benefit of killing weed seeds which may have gotten into the compost pile.  They also discussed different containers for composting, and different methods requiring varying amounts of time and effort.

The workshop ended with a discussion of vermiculture, or composting with worms.  This can be done indoors or outdoors in large plastic bins.  Moist, shredded newspaper, a bit of dirt, and red worms are added to the bins. Microbes break down the vegetable scraps, and the worms continue the work.  Vermiculture has the advantage of being a small-scale operation without the need to take food scraps outdoors to a compost pile.

Worms Eat My Garbage, and Let It Rot are two resources for people interested in trying out composting.

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