Schools#2 Cafeteria Composting Programs - Holly Hill Farm


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Schools#2 Cafeteria Composting Programs - Holly Hill Farm

  1. 1. Composting at Schools Janice McPhillips Holly Hill Farm Cohasset, MA
  2. 2. What is compost? <ul><li>Decomposed organic matter (leaves, manure, kitchen scraps, grass and other yard waste), also known as humus </li></ul><ul><li>The process of decomposition of organic matter into humus </li></ul>
  3. 3. Why bother making compost? <ul><li>recycling spent resource into a useful one </li></ul><ul><li>saves on garbage disposal costs (transportation, bags, dump fees, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>creates a valuable organic material for the garden for free (almost) </li></ul><ul><li>learning about decomposition, soil structure, and returning nutrients to the soil </li></ul>
  4. 4. What makes compost happen? <ul><li>microorganisms including bacteria, fungi, and molds </li></ul><ul><li>earthworms </li></ul><ul><li>insects including spiders, beetles, pill bugs, millipedes, and more </li></ul><ul><li>air, water, sunshine, occasional mixing, and time </li></ul>
  5. 6. How can you compost at your school? <ul><li>interested and committed teachers, administrators and custodial staff? </li></ul><ul><li>cooperative kitchen staff? </li></ul><ul><li>parents or other volunteers? </li></ul><ul><li>help the students “own” the process! </li></ul><ul><li>find a convenient site (near the garden, or cafeteria) </li></ul><ul><li>ideal site should be partially shaded, near water source </li></ul>
  6. 11. How do you get started? <ul><li>get a free compost bin from MA DEP ( ) </li></ul><ul><li>get a free compost bin from your town DPW or local garden club </li></ul><ul><li>make a bin out of pallets or chicken wire or other containment system </li></ul><ul><li>buy or make a worm bin for indoor composting </li></ul>
  7. 17. What can you compost? <ul><li>lunch scraps </li></ul><ul><li>cafeteria food preparation scraps </li></ul><ul><li>coffee from the teachers’ lounge </li></ul><ul><li>leaves and garden waste including grass clippings </li></ul><ul><li>straw, hay, or shavings </li></ul><ul><li>some paper and cardboard </li></ul><ul><li>sawdust </li></ul><ul><li>cow, chicken, or horse manure </li></ul>
  8. 21. How do you make an outdoor compost pile? <ul><li>layers of “brown” (carbon-rich) and “green” (nitrogen-rich) materials, about a 3:1 ratio by volume </li></ul><ul><li>add a shovelful of soil every 8-12” </li></ul><ul><li>water </li></ul><ul><li>stir frequently </li></ul>
  9. 22. Nitrogen and Carbon sources <ul><li>Nitrogen-rich materials: </li></ul><ul><li>food scraps including coffee grounds </li></ul><ul><li>manures </li></ul><ul><li>seaweed </li></ul><ul><li>grass clippings </li></ul><ul><li>Carbon-rich materials: </li></ul><ul><li>leaves </li></ul><ul><li>sawdust </li></ul><ul><li>newspaper </li></ul><ul><li>paper towels </li></ul><ul><li>straw or shavings </li></ul>
  10. 24. Do NOT to put into a compost pile: <ul><li>meat, dairy, bones, fatty foods like salads with dressing or peanut butter </li></ul><ul><li>dog or cat waste </li></ul><ul><li>weeds that have gone to seed </li></ul><ul><li>diseased plants </li></ul><ul><li>weeds that spread with runners </li></ul>
  11. 25. How long will it take to make finished compost? <ul><li>depends on temperature, what you put in compost, moisture, size of pile, how often it is turned </li></ul><ul><li>can take as short as 12 weeks or as long as 1 year </li></ul>
  12. 26. What can students learn from having a compost pile at your school? <ul><li>math concepts </li></ul><ul><li>observing and writing </li></ul><ul><li>predicting </li></ul><ul><li>microorganisms, earthworms, insects, pH </li></ul><ul><li>vocabulary </li></ul><ul><li>food web: producers, consumers, decomposers </li></ul>
  13. 37. What can go wrong? <ul><li>attract unwanted animals </li></ul><ul><li>bad smell </li></ul><ul><li>fruit flies </li></ul><ul><li>students putting things in compost that don’t belong </li></ul><ul><li>SNOW! </li></ul>
  14. 40. Make or buy a worm bin for indoor composting
  15. 45. How do you make a worm bin? <ul><li>buy a Rubbermaid Tough Tote </li></ul><ul><li>drill 1/8” holes every 3” around the bottom and in the cover </li></ul><ul><li>start with a damp layer of carbon rich “bedding” material like leaves, straw, or shredded paper </li></ul><ul><li>layer “greens” and “browns” in the same way you would for an outdoor bin </li></ul><ul><li>make sure to bury food scraps under a layer of bedding to prevent fruit flies </li></ul><ul><li>add red wiggler worms </li></ul>
  16. 46. Need more information? or Ann McGovern [email_address] (617) 292-5834