What’s the dirt on composting at Belvedere?

scooping worms jorbelWe’re getting ready to start daily cafeteria composting again — Sept. 25 is the big day — and students are helping to prep.

At left is a photo of one of Ms. Jorbel‘s students, helping to transfer worms into a new worm bin. Belvedere has three worm bins, one from last year, one set up by Ms. Jorbel’s kindergartners, and one set up by Ms. Bradley‘s second-graders. Why so many? The worms help fruits and veggies decompose, and the worm excrement (“castings”) is nutritious for plants. In fact, the castings are such super-vitamins that you can only add a small amount to the soil near the plant or it will burn the plant, similar to adding too much fertilizer.

But another reason for so many bins is that the students LOVE the worms.  As soon as they see my purple bin, they shout, “The worms!” and want to crowd around it. The worm castings don’t have an odor, but once we start digging around in the castings, looking for worm cocoons, sowbugs and baby worms, the decomposing food can really stink!  jorbel class at worm bin

plugged nose at worm bin
Ms. Dillane‘s fifth-graders also spent some time with the composter, checking out what happened in our large composter to last year’s banana peels, apple cores, and uneaten carrots. They were surprised to find that it was just soil in the tumbler. Some even put their heads into the tumbler to smell it — fresh dirt! — and put their hands in to feel for themselves. This week we’ll start emptying the tumbler and moving the soil to our garden beds.
Dillane at composter

Dillane and me at composter

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  1. […] « What’s the dirt on composting at Belvedere? […]

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