Everybody is doing it. Well; some people are doing it.
Square Foot Gardens only work well when using good compost.
Mel Bartholomew says that it takes 5 different kinds of compost to maximize the production of great plants and vegetables. With our maximum circumstances, we use cow, shrimp, lobster and mushroom compost. Then we add 1/5 worm castings to the compost mix. Those worms digest half of their body mass daily, so we keep them well feed.
Not all Mel’s mix is created equal. In Honduras the students are composting. However the compost doesn’t come in a bag. So the students who are structuring square foot gardens are making their own blend of compost. Their composting system is different than ours because they add to their original mix a variety of materials; horse manure from the dirt roads near their dorm, banana leaves from the plants on the property, left over dinner scraps, grass that they cut with a machete and the pile has been topped with rich soil crawling with worms.
So who is doing it?
Hingham High School students have been doing it for some time now with lunch scraps and cardboard lunch trays. They sell the compost at the local farmer’s market in the spring to raise money for environmental projects.
Randolph Middle School students have done Bottle Biology Composting and will start their full scale project in March.
I’m doing everywhere that I can find space; in the basement, in the garage, in planters, in tumblers and in a three foot by three foot outdoor composting cage.
My neighbor is doing it and has two piles; when one matures he develops the other.
Student at Honduras Hope are doing it. (referenced above)
My friends who has just purchased a Square Foot Garden are about to do it. They just bought a tumbler for their garage.
Preschool students are going to learn about composting shortly.
Things to remember: No – meat or bone, grease, whole eggs, cheese, seeds, cat or dog manure, milk or dairy products.
Say Yes to: egg shells (crushed), cow, horse or chicken manure, shredded paper, spoiled garden products, grass and leaves.
Caution: Not too much sawdust, coffee grounds, twigs or corn cobs.
Composting needs to be an aerobic process (with oxygen). That means that the compost needs to be aerated. This can be done by turning it over or by using a solar aeration pump. If the composting process starts to smell bad, then anaerobic respiration (without oxygen) is taking place and the microbes are dying; the compost is rotting.
People in the United States are all excited about recycling. From my perspective recycling is good BUT it costs energy and money, lots of money. Composting is a reuse process that gives all of us excise. Reusing is an excellent environmental solution.
Using that compost to put nutritious food into your family’s bellies makes everyone healthier. Let’s get more people “doing it”, 1 Square Foot at a Time.