Permaculture and Sustainability: #2, Breakin’ Down

Using resources that are free and abundant makes sense not only for the health of the earth but also for your wallet. That why this opportunistic use is in an important aspect permaculture and sustainability in agriculture. We try to do this in every place and way that we can, from lasagna layering to:

Composting

is one of the most important things you can do in your garden. First of all, it keeps valuable resources out of the landfills they would otherwise waste away in. All of the plant waste that comes from your garden and kitchen can be turned into nutrient rich compost that can then be added on top of your garden and provide valuable nutrients to your plants that will help them grow bigger, better, and yield more. But not only plant and vegetable scraps can go in your compost. Eggshells and coffee/tea grounds which are considered “greens” (as well as vegetable/fruit wastes) , and paper, cardboard, newspaper, and even dryer lint, which are considered “browns,” can be composted as well. This brings us back to what I mentioned in last week’s post: “browns” (carbon sources) and “greens” (nitrogen sources) are both important in creating the best possible compost because it creates an important balance between these two necessary nutrients. And that brings us to how we compost here in the Albright Sustainable Garden:

Batch Composting

DSC_1441DSC_1442

There are three sites for composting here in the garden: two bins for weeds and diseased, a place for our community plot holders to compost their browns and greens (both pictured above), and our own three bin composting system (pictured below). Our three bin system has one bin to collect greens, one bin to collect browns, and a third bin to do the batch composting. Batch composting is a way of quickly creating compost by alternating layers of browns and greens. A layer of browns is put down first, then greens, and then it is lightly watered. These three steps are repeated until the bin is full, and the batch is ready for breakdown! At this point, the pile is turned every 7-10 days so that air and moisture is let into the center/bottom of the pile to promote faster decomposition. In addition, the moisture level is checked weekly and watered accordingly to maintain the consistency of a wrung out sponge. In 1-3 months, rich compost is created and ready to be put into the garden!

DSC_1439

Want a more in depth explanation and start to finish directions for batch composting at home? visit this link and start your very own system:

http://cwmi.css.cornell.edu/compostingathome.pdf

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments? Questions?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s