- RESTORE: SOIL
“Why Teach Soil Science?”
Frontiers in Ecology
“Greens” (high-nitrogen materials)
· fruit and vegetable scraps
“Browns” (high-carbon material)
· non-recyclable paper
| DO NOT COMPOST:
WHERE CAN YOU PUT COMPOSTING MATERIALS?
Indoor Worm Bin:
- Made from a plastic container or foam cooler with air holes poked into lid
- Add damp “bedding materials” (shredded newspaper or peat moss) and Red Wiggler Worms (NOT night crawlers or earthworms)
- Bury small fruit scraps daily in each corner of the bin (slow down if food is not gone after a four-day rotation)
- Keep bedding damm[ and the temperature moderate
- When bedding becomes “goop” place food only at one end for two weeks in order to swap out the bedding at the opposite end.
- Use the vermi-compost as mulch around plants or dilute it to make a compost “tea” that is great fertilizer
- Should be placed at least 10 feet from your school
- Compost bins are available online or from your city or county
- Find local contact here
- DHEC Recycling Education Grants or PalmettoPride grants will pay for compost equipment
- Schools may need multiple bins (more bins may be needed as participation grows)
HOW WILL YOU COLLECT THE MATERIALS?
You can place buckets with attached lids in lunch rooms, kitchens and beside handwashing sinks (cat litter buckets with attached lids work great!)
HOW WILL YOU LAYER THE MATERIALS AND FACILITATE COMPOSTING?
- Empty school buckets into compost bins (tear larger items; smaller items will decompose faster)
- Put dry material (dry leaves or mulch) on top of the wet material to eliminate odors and insects
- Add oxygen by flipping or stirring the pile as needed
- Add water to keep material damp, like a wrung-out sponge
- Place the compost bins on bare ground for surface contact with soil critters
HOW WILL YOU FINISH THE COMPOST?
- You may want to use two bins:
- 1. “Cook” the first semester batch until spring without adding new materials in bin#1
- 2. Then, “cook” the second semester batch until fall without adding new materials in bin #2
PUT YOUR COMPOST TO USE!
Sprinkle it around your plants or mix 1 part compost to 5 parts garden soil for planting.
Composting Resources Bulletin
- Check the Green Steps calendar for compost workshops
- Composting: SCDHEC Office of Solid Waste Reduction and Recycling
- Explorations in Composting: New Brunswick (Canada) Department of Environment–Backyard Magic/The Composting Handbook
- Lesson Plans: What is Soil?
- Compost and Mulch n the Garden: CalRecycle’s Office of Education and the Environment in collaboration with the California Environmental Protection Agency
- The Worm Guide: A Vermicomposting Guide for Teachers: The California Education and the Environment Initiative
- Tour a Compost Demonstration Site:
- Clemson Sandhills Research and Education Center (900 Clemson Rd near intersection of Clemson and Two Notch Rd)(self-guided)
- City Roots, Columbia (1005 Airport Blvd). Sign up here
- Contact your mentors for more options.
- Composting in Schools: Cornell Composting
- United States Department of Agriculture: Natural Resources Conservation Service SoilS