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Compost Page
mulching kids
....collects food scraps from our cafeteria lunches.   We collect around 10 gallons of food scraps a day.  We return all of our compost to our garden project.  We learn that some times you don’t have to spend piles of money on compost from the store. You can make your own.  The compost division also labors at local farms in exchange for manure and compost.
We've conducted some interesting trials in developing student-run Compost Company .  Rolling 55 gallon compost drums around the playground, feeding red worms in the classroom, building bins with pallets and chicken wire, stuffing food scraps, newspaper and leaves into sheetrock buckets and digging time capsule compost pits are some of the ways we have tried to manage our food waste.
Currently, the students have adopted three methods of composting that serve us well.  One is the use of outdoor bins, with a door, allowing access for turning the pile.  The second method we call trench composting.  It involves digging long trenches in the garden.  The rows of trenches are dug about two feet deep and follow the path of planting rows. We dig the rows immediatley after an area is harvested and cover with dirt as the food scraps are dropped in each day.  The third method is collecting vermicompost (worm castings) from one of our many worm bins.  Students empty the  food waste from each Friday's lunch into the worm bins.

Celebrate International Compost Awareness Week    May 6, 2007 to May 12, 2007
    
How To Compost
mixing compost
   
Each school day the waste that is separated from our school lunch is transported in our stainless steel buckets to our school garden, where our students measure it’s volume in gallons.   The PAWS students work with  the Garden Project students  emptying the bucket each day.
    Then, the scraps are mixed with brown organic material (wood chips, leaves or saw dust) and buried for decomposition.  Next, we wait about two months until the compost is ready.  The recycled soil is then used by the THMS Compost Company. 
Worm Farming
    
     When you start your worm farm, it needs to be dampened with fresh water.  After the bin stabilizes a bit, it usually stays damp enough.  Use shredded paper (most offices's have huge big bags, the easiest bedding) unbleached if possible, leaf mulch and compost  to create a nice  home from the worms.
     Add food scrapes, dig way down, moving the castings (ie dirt) they've produced to one side of the bin, put in a large handful of dry paper, replace the dirt (which is where the worms are), then layer on more bedding.
worms

  You may want to use only veggie scrapes (chopped or shredded) although we have not had any trouble with fruit flies when we chop up the food waste into small  pieces and mix well.
COMPOST TEAM

1.   Leave class 5 minutes early and put the bucket by the garbage bin.  Be first on line for lunch.
2.   After lunch, stand by the compost bucket and help everybody put their foodscraps in.  We only return to a garden what can grow in a garden, such as vegtables, fruits and grain products.
3.  Record the amount of foodscraps on the chart.
4.  Bury foodscraps in the trench and cover with soil.
5.  Rinse out and return Bucket back in Mr. T ‘s room.

TRENCH TEAM

1. Plan and dig out the trenches.
2. Date finished trenches.
3. Check daily to make sure no foodscraps are showing and
that a trench is prepared.
Worm Team

1.  Put on gloves and grab a clean trowel.
2.  Mix up worm bedding, from the bottom of the bin up.
3.  Check for moisture level.
4.  Once a week empty the rabbit droppings (include shredded paper) into the worm bin and mix.
5.  Dump out worms onto large table after three months or when the castings are abundant.  Look for       eggs and other life in the worm manure.  Use Proscope to view and document findings.
6.  Immediately top dress greenhouse/ hoop house plants your new product.


Composting Goal

    Reduce the organic waste stream in the kitchen, student dining areas and teacher's room.

    Our favorite mulches are seaweed, manure, newspaper/cardboard, weeds, back and straw.


Guide to Composting

http://www.compostinstructions.com

Learn how to make compost, and why improving your soil is the best thing that you can do for your lawn and garden.

Resources

Composting is fun! It's also easy. Learn about how we make compost and use it to grow beautiful gardens. 

How to Compost.Org

The Dirt on Soil

School Composting

Cathy's Crawly Composters

A Worm Guide to Vermicompsting


Please click here  pencil to request a brochure :-)


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