Schools#2 Cafeteria Composting Programs - Holly Hill Farm
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Schools#2 Cafeteria Composting Programs - Holly Hill Farm






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    Schools#2 Cafeteria Composting Programs - Holly Hill Farm Schools#2 Cafeteria Composting Programs - Holly Hill Farm Presentation Transcript

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