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food scraps from our cafeteria lunches. We collect around
of food scraps a day. We return all of our compost to our garden
We learn that some times you don’t have to spend piles of money on
from the store. You can make your own. The compost division also
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,
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
follow the path of planting rows. We dig the rows immediatley after an
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.
Compost Awareness Week May 6, 2007 to May 12, 2007
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.
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
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,
dirt (which is where the worms are), then layer on more bedding.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
Guide to Composting
Learn how to make compost, and why improving your soil is the best
thing that you can do for your lawn and garden.
request a brochure :-)
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