Many farmers are weighing the financial benefits of switching from manmade fertilizers to natural compost. In an article on composting rules in the Southwest, one farmer reports saving nearly $100,000 on his fertilizer bill because of having switched to compost.
This May 6-12 is National Composting Awareness Week. Although there are several varieties, "compost" is a general reference for decomposed organic material. We have put together some compelling reasons to compost, a quick guide to getting started, and a fun activity for the next generation of conservationists.
- replenishes nutrients from food waste back into food-growing Earth
- improves soil pH
- provides beneficial microorganisms to the soil which helps suppress plant diseases
- improves soil structure to make a better environment for roots and prevents erosion
- manages moisture by reducing need for irrigation
- creates more drought resistance
- mitigates climate change
- reduces water pollution through pollution prevention, bioremediation, and stormwater management
HOW TO GET STARTED: COMPOSTING 101
Howtocompost.org gives some great tips for the new composter. Here are a few they recommend:
COMPOSTING ACTIVITY FOR KIDS
Cut a recycled 2 liter bottle in half and fill the bottom portion 1/4 way up with water (enough to emerse the upturned other half). Turn the top half of the bottle upside down and place two wicking strips in the bottom, then fill it with damp, soil-less potting mix and a handful of organic fertilizer. You can plant seeds or start with a seedling and water from the top. The wicking fabric will pull water up to the plant, conserving water.
RESOURCESThe United States Composting Council offers a multitude of resources for people wanting to know more about composting. They provide a compost locator map to illustrate where to find quality composting as well as educational webinars, training and certification. They are a national non-profit organization dedicated to the composting industry. Green Fern Events is proud to be involved with the USCC's 21st annual conference and trade show in January of 2013 as the conference manager.