Our first guest writer! I’d like to introduce Sara Jeffery, the compost guru and Urban Jr Farmer for the NCES. She has an upcoming Compost Painting Party this Saturday at the Community Compost Bins at the Revelstoke United Church. Come down with the kids to see what it’s all about!
Ever wondered what the perfect pet might be? Low maintenance, somehow productive, no expenses, doesn’t make a mess..
Why not worms? Yes, WORMS. They are animals too! Red Wrigglers are my favorite. So low maintenance, sometimes I forget I have them. Massively productive, and their mess = gardener’s gold – your plants won’t believe how good it is! No expense – in fact, they cut down on your waste. They eat your left over food scraps, shredded paper, and cardboard! Not to mention, they barely take up any room at all.
I am talking about vermi-composting. A compost process that can be done anywhere, using worms. I would love you to find out more and want to share a great website where you can do so: http://greenactioncentre.ca/content/vermicomposting/
Worms are great for your outdoor compost as well. So since we are on this compost topic, I need to share with you why the act of composting is so important. Organic materials overload landfills and react with other materials to create toxic leachate–the liquid drain-off from landfills, capable of contaminating local groundwater and waterways.
Read more: Why Is it Important to Compost? | eHow
Before we go any further, if you are residing in or around Revelstoke, please remember to be Bear Aware! Sue has a great Composting in Bear Country sheet you can access for free!
Composting can be so simple. In fact, you can not stop organic matter from decomposing – so this is a no fail, only win. First thing to do is choose a bin option that works for you. Click here to get some help making a decision. You can find some great counter top bins at Chantilly, as well as spare carbon filters and biodegradeable bags.
You will start your pile with a base layer of twigs and sticks to ensure it has air flow at both ends. Then you want to start layering browns, greens, browns with a ratio of 2:1 (browns:greens). Always ending with browns, this helps to keep smells down and pests out. Here are some common brown and green items:
- Fall leaves
- Hay & straw, cornstalks
- Shredded cardboard & newspaper (newspaper inks are soy-based which are OK)
- Paper plates, bags, towels
- Chipped brush, sticks, twigs, branches, bark
- Sawdust (from untreated wood)
- Pine needles (but not more than 10% of the pile)
- Vegetable & fruit wastes
- Coffee grounds, filters, & teabags
- Horse, cow, rabbit, chicken, gerbil, goat, sheep, rabbit, pig manure
- Weeds without weed seeds & other yard waste (without chemicals)
- Grass clippings (without chemicals)
The more each material is broken down, the quicker your compost will get to work. Plus if your worm buddies are in there, you are laughing! They are a speedy group – so don’t hesitate to add these little ones to your family!