DESCRIBE YOUR SCHOOL GARDEN WHY COMPOST? Pedagogical Plant health Planet health Aerobic Types of

Compo st Anaerobic Vermi ANAEROBIC Moist, organic matter, deprived of oxygen

Highly acidic environment, comparable to stomach thus digester PROS: No effort No pests CONS: Smell (hydrogen sulfide = rotten eggs)

Takes 6-12 months to kill pathogens (also neutralizes the PH) Insects, meat/dairy take a lot longer Produces methane (more significant heat trapping gas) ANAEROBIC

Box with tight lid and drainage spout, tarp sealed down, garbage bag (sun can accelerate the process), or buried and rotating garden plots AEROBIC Decomposition of moist, organic material using microorganisms that require oxygen Possible because of the FBI (Fungi, bacteria, invertebrates)

Needs carbon rich (brown) as opposed to green clippings to stay aerobic (let leaves/lawn clippings dry out first, or add paper) PROS: Can handle all kitchen

scraps including meat Quick acting No smell (if done perfectly) CONS: Labor intensive

(turning) Intensive monitoring of temperatures w/ troubleshooting needed to maintain in the proper zone AEROBIC

Lasagna method (not cake) layering brown and green Tumbler VERMICULTURE Worm farming

Worm castings are worm poop Vermicompost is the byproduct of work farming; worm castings, micro-organisms, decomposed food, plant, and paper materials. FOOD SAFETY Compost Science & Utilization, (2001), Vol. 9, No. 1,

38-49 144 hrs to eliminate human pathogens (fecal coliform, salmonella, viruses) whereas other methods have double to 6xs as many issues Worms eat everything including pathogens, what they dont digest, other microorganisms do thus, a base of soil is important to healthy compost WORM TYPES

Red worms eisenia fetida (use proper name!) Earthworms lumbricus terrestris WORM ANATOMY Both have anterior (mouth) and posterior (anus) ends with 120-170 segments covered in

small hairs (setae) that help the worm move Postomium a flap over the mouth of the worm used to filter food; can be seen via a microscope Clitellum smooth part, reproductive organs

5 hearts just before the digestive track Breath through their skin which must stay wet for the process to work No eyes! But light sensitive cells in the front (signal to avoid light) WORM REPRODUCTION

Reproduce to fill their niche Clitellum forms at 4-6 weeks Worms have both female and male reproductive organs,

but must rub clitellum to reproduce (cannot reproduce asexually) Cocoons form, the size of a match-head 1-5 worms per cocoon

2-3 week gestation period WORM FOOD Worms eat bacteria, fungi, and organic matter Food is ground up in the gizzard (like a bunch of rocks)

Worms like: coffee grounds, tea leaves, mashed egg shells, fruits + veggies, Worms dislike: meat, citrus, dairy, fats/oils (butter too) TYPES OF BINS Plastic bin (single layer or double layer)

Wooden bin (mesh bottom layer for self sifting) Multi tier (vertical or horizontal) STARTER MATERIALS Plastic bin Drill + 1/8 inch drill bit Sandpaper Newspaper (non-glossy) VENTILATION 1/8 inch holes Spaced roughly every square inch around the

boarder of the lid or top of the bin BEDDING Tear one inch pieces of newspaper or printer paper Fill bin Spray until it feels like a rung out sponge SOIL + WORMS Beneficial microbes Digestion for worms Approximately 2 cups soil

lb worms Soil, then worms, both spread evenly LETS BUILD! HOW MUCH TO FEED? Their weight in food a day! You have lb that means 3lbs per day, but your works will self regulate

to fit their space and food supply Shred as much as possible DO COMPOST Potato peels Carrots Lettuce Cabbage Celery Apple peels Crushed eggshells

Coffee grounds (and filters) Cornmeal/oatmeal Tea bags DONT COMPOST Bones Meat (poultry + fish included) Cheese Butter Salad dressings

Citrus Mayonnaise/dairy Fried foods/oily foods Glossy paper MAINTENANCE Burry food Never dump and run Monitor moisture Worms leave when they dont like the environment Dig through occasionally, see what they congregate

around Worms move to the center when too cold Move to the edges when too hot Move up the bin when too wet or acidic Prefer a worm (68-72), damp environment They will freeze ODORS Check for rotten food and remove Feed less often/smaller portions Add dry bedding materials

HARVESTING LIGHT METHOD Dump compost into mounds, shine bright light for 20 mins or so Worms move to the bottom, harvest top portion, recombine to make knew mounds, continue until its mostly worms HARVESTING SORT METHOD

Stop feeding for two weeks Push compost to half your bin Add fresh bedding and food scraps to the other side exclusively for a few months Once worms have moved to the new food source, harvest the old half Can use orange sleeves as well (filled with fresh foods)

HARVESTING THIRDS OR SIFTING METHOD Worm activity will be primarily the top third of the bin Shovel this portion off and set aside to start new bin or dump over strainer Harvest remaining compost HARVESTING STARVATION METHOD Stop feeding worms for one month

FINISHING Store compost in a plastic bin or bag for 1-4 months until fully dried out Seen as a best practice, although not necessary USE Mix cup of compost into the bottom of your hole before transplanting Sprinkle on top of soil, around the base of the

plants, but not touching stems Mix compost water with water, spray on leaves or water at base of plants RESOURCES The Adventures of Herman the Worm Worm Woman Worm World

The Burrow Worm Birth Video Worm Hearts Video Worm Bin Project /B2U1.html Science Museum of Minnesota Online Worm Project Worm Books

Worm Supplies FEB 5TH PD Taft HS 8AM-3PM

Jeanne Nolan + workshops + give aways DREW THOMAS [email protected]

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