The last time I tried composting I failed miserably. I was living in Santa Cruz, California and the city offered reduced priced worm bins to residents. Within weeks of setting up the bin all of my cute little wrigglers were dead. I found out later that worms don’t particularly like citrus and pretty much all I fed them was grapefruit rinds. Sad story. I never did try again, although I have always wanted to.
Earlier this year, the Garden Club received the Hong Kong Government’s Greening Schools subsidy. $2000 HK (about $250 US) to spend on ‘horticultural maintenance’, and $2,000 to spend on a ‘school greening project’. Naturally, we had no problems spending the money. Part of it went to more microgarden kits (with help from a generous parent donation), and the other part we decided to spend on a composting bin. Every good garden has a compost system- nature’s way of recycling. But it’s not so easy when your garden is on a balcony on the 7th floor with everything paved for miles around. After consulting several compost experts, we decided to go with a simple system- no worms, just naturally occurring microbes that we will supplement with a special ‘potion’ that came with the bin. To optimize this system we will have to fill our bin this week, layering fresh green waste with dead leaves and grass. Then we’ll let nature do her work and monitor the progress (more on this later).
In order to fill out bin we have asked students and teachers to bring in compostable material (fruit and vegetable peelings, egg shells, tea bags, coffee grinds, etc). As part of the drive I have put together a series of ‘compost awareness’ posts in an attempt to get people excited about making beautiful soil out of what would otherwise just take up space in the landfill. So stay tuned every day this week for more information on composting and let’s hope this system works better than the last I tried!