by Monica Swenson
On a lovely fall afternoon Dee Davis, Master Composter, gave an entertaining and informational presentation about composting to a gathering of about 20 attendees. The Community Garden created a great backdrop for talking about composting, different techniques, and common mistakes.
Among other talents, Ms. Davis has over 25 years-experience teaching environmental design practices along with composting, water, energy, and waste reduction. With many personal anecdotes, she made the science of decomposition easy to understand, and answered questions with practical suggestions about how to get the best results with your own compost. What types of materials should – and should not be composted? How much moisture do you need – and how can you manage your pile to maintain moisture? The answers of course depend a lot on what type of composting you are doing. The class learned, for instance, about Bokashi Processing that can process even traditionally forbidden ingredients sing special microbes that ferment the product – turning them into acceptable composting material.
With the Community Garden’s compost bins right in the ‘classroom’, the class got a firsthand assessment of the condition of the bins, a strategy recommended about how to revive the bins this fall, in order to accommodate the large quantity of plant material (greens) that are about to be pulled out of the garden as it is put to bed for the season.
Composting is a powerful method to minimize waste, and creating a usable product from the food and paper scraps that come out of any home. The class was so well appreciated, we plan to offer it again next spring!