Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Kids and Composting

In observance of Earth Day, I presented composting assemblies for fourth graders in two schools in town. The kids were great. They eagerly volunteered to act out a story, take the “Rot Whiz Quiz” and make a compost-in-a bottle for their classroom. They asked questions that showed me they were thinking.

One boy wanted to know if you could sell finished compost. I told him they sell it in garden stores. I could just see his wheels spinning, planning his next lemonade-stand-like venture.

Although the “compost in a bottle” is meant for kids to observe the process of decomposition, one teacher, surrounded by her students, told me at the end of the assembly that they had just discussed throwing in their apple cores and banana peels after snack time to eliminate some garbage. (They might need a bigger bottle.) Kudos to the students and the very enthusiastic teacher who got her students keyed up about this. Next step: school-wide composting?

I hope the kids took something away from the assembly. I know I did. I was inspired to see that kids were interested in composting and reducing garbage. It gave me hope for the future.


  1. I want to take the "Rot Whiz Quiz!" :-)

  2. awesome! do you have any tips for composting in dry climates?

  3. Hi Mariposa,
    In dry climates, the most important thing is to make sure the compost stays moist.
    Plastic bins are good for retaining water, but if you have an open bin, make an indent in the center of the pile to retain water when it rains.
    Positioning a bin in a shady location can also keep less water from evaporating.
    When you start a new batch in a compost bin, make sure you water every layer and then mix it all. Be vigilant that it stays moist.
    You can water with a watering can or turn the lid upside down to catch rainwater if you know it's going to rain.
    The pay-off is that finished compost added to your soil will help retain water, a plus for your garden.