Compost Happens!

Bringing Sustainability through Composting

 

 COMPOST HAPPENS, was created by an 18 year old, Jessica Jones who was inspiried to take action and teach sustainability to her fellow community members, businesses and local insitutions.

 For her Senior Thesis at Summerfield Waldorf School and Farm, Jessica Jones explored the concept of the health of the earth and of humans. Through her studies she found the direct correlation between the sickness of the earth leading to the wide range of sickness' to human beings and animals. Reading Rachel Carson's SILENT SPRING, it occured to Jessica that in order to heal both realms, human health and the health of the land that she would have to heal the land, for once the land was healed, human sickness would slowly vanish.

To heal the land Jessica is working with her parents and with local buisnesses, and neighbors to teach the public about composting. Composting, along with giving back to the soil, providing nutrients to plants and has the capacity to hold water up to five times its own weight. Composting also teaches people a whole new perspective about their relationship to the land. It is easy to take from the Earth, but it takes respect, knowledge, trial and error to give back, and that is what composting gives people, a new, healthier relationship with the land, education on decompostion and the power to heal not only their own land but also themselves.

How to Compost

“To manure the earth is to make it alive, so that plants may not be brought into a dead Earth.”-Rudolf Steiner

 

Picture from: : www.umext.maine.edu/onlinepubs/htmpubs/1159.htm

Here are some tips to help you out when it comes to composting. Don’t think of composting as being difficult, time wasting or just messy. With the right mindset compost can be your greatest teacher, teaching you about decomposition and fertility and in turn more about yourself.

Site

When choosing a sight to build compost bin/ pile make sure to check,

Sun and shade orientation, it is preferable that the compost receives about an equal share of shade and sun.

A well drained area, putting compost in a muddy/ watery zone is not a good idea.

Have a water source nearby, from time to time compost needs to be sprinkled with water, plus if you have a bin or bucket that you had your compost in, you can wash it out and bring it back into the house.

Composting Layers

Think of composting, like a recipe, a successful compost pile has a balance of carbonaceous and nitrogenous materials in it.

Examples of Carbon

Dry Grass

Straw

Paper (cardboard, to an extent)

 

Examples of Nitrogen

Animal Manure

Meat or fish

Blood Meal

Hoof & Horn Meal

Lawn Clippings

Young plants (basically anything green)

* (From, Handbook on Composting and the Biodynamic Preps, by George Corrin)

Methods of Composting

Worm Composting

Compost must be bottomless

Good Drainage & Aeration

Warm and moist conditions favored

In a shady spot

Shallow

2:1 Ratio

Worm Castings

Spreading the Sustainability

* (From, Earthworm Breeding, Building populations for Healthier Soil & Compost, by Vaughan Jones)

Biodynamic Composting

Rudolf Steiner 1924

Farm as an Organism

Preps

Layered Composting, Lasagna Composting

Carbon and Nitrogen

Turning over

Cover with straw

Aeration & Moisture

Hot Composting

Aerobic

Constant turning over

Temperature check

Fast

Cold Composting

Anaerobic

Easy

Long process

More Fertility

Mulching

Suppresses Weeds

Holds in moisture

No need for fertilizer

Keeps soil soft and easy to work with

* (From, The Earth Manual, How to work on Wild Land w/o Taming it, by Malcolm Margolin

Pit Composting

Easy

Out of sight, out of mind method

 The Final Product

“The fertility of the soil is the future of civilization.”

-Sir Albert Howard

 

Humus

A buffer to acidity & alkalinity

Retains water up to 6 times its own weight

Prevents soil erosion

Promotes soil fertility

 

 

 

For More Composting Information

Please Look

 At these Websites

 

California Integrated Waste Management Board

http://www.ciwmb.ca.gov/

Alameda County Waste Management

http://www.stopwaste.org/- A informative website with a composting hotline, free brochures and a movie on composting. Based in Alameda County.

To buy finished Compost check out these local sources

Sonoma Compost

550 Mecham Road Petaluma, CA 94952 

 http://www.sonomacompost.com/

Grab N' Grow

2759 Llano Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95407

http://www.grabngrowsoil.com/

For classes on sustainability look into

Occidental Arts and Ecology

15290 Coleman Valley Road, Occidental, CA 95465

http://www.oaec.org/

Sonoma County Conservation Action

540 Pacific Ave,  Santa Rosa, CA 95404

http://www.conservationaction.org/index.html

The Story on Stuff

http://www.storyofstuff.org/

 

 

 NEED HELP COMPOSTING,

HAVE

QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS,

INTERESTED IN

HAVING A COMPOST

WORKSHOP

AT YOUR

 BUSINESS or school?

email Jessica

jessica7787@sbcglobal.net

 

 

 

  

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