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hand holding wormsresizedBrimming with nutrients, compost is the stuff of gardening dreams. Also known as “black gold,” compost is the decomposition of your recycled vegetable, fruit, and garden scraps. What you are left with is a rich, dark soil that at its best resembles crumbled chocolate cake. If you only use one organic fertilizer to balance and enrich your soil, it should be compost – and really, it should be made by layering organic materials in a pile and letting it decompose. Gardeners may cover the pile with a tarp, but often build or buy a bin to contain the materials. Compost needs air, moisture, microorganisms (bacteria), and macro-organisms (especially earthworms) to “cook” – and it really does get cooking! The center of a compost pile can get as hot as 160 degrees as the materials decompose. A balance of “browns" and "greens" ensure a healthy and odor-free compost. Browns include carbon materials such as as dried leaves and broken twigs, and the greens constitute fruit and vegetable peelings, green plants, etc.

Compost Do's and Dont's is a PDF document that illustrates what goes in and what stays out of your compost. Print a copy and laminate it to make a sign for your indoor or outdoor bin!

Teaching kids how to compost is an integral part of any garden program. Compost demonstrates a key element in the food cycle, reveals valuable lessons in the life of soil and the importance of its inhabitants, and offers the opportunity to educate children about the recycling of organic waste.Learn more about indoor composting (also known as worm composting) in your classroom, or outdoor composting in your school yard.

Green Thumb CurriculumCurriculum Links
Build an Outdoor Compost Bin
Build an Indoor Compost Bin
Sort the Compost Bin