What is “Om”?
Om isn’t just the mantra we chant while meditating or doing yoga, in the garden it also refers to organic matter.
The 6th grade classes learned that the reason we want to make organic matter in the garden is so we can provide nutrients to our plants. The more organic matter we create the more life we create. In nature 1 inch of organic matter takes 1,000 years to accumulate. In the garden we can make organic matter, also known as compost, in a few short weeks.
All the 6th grade classes learned how to make compost in the garden in two different ways, through our 3 bin compost system and vermi-composting( worm composting).
In our three bin system we use dead plants from the garden and some food scraps along with straw and chicken poop to create healthy rich compost that we can use in the garden. We create layers in our compost cake, the greens being (nitrogen) and browns being (carbon). Even though chicken poop is mostly brown it is actually a great source of nitrogen for our pile. Making compost is an aerobic process, meaning it needs air to break down. In the garden we usually flip the pile 2-3 times per week to help speed up the decomposition process.
Vermi-Composting is a fast and efficient way to make compost and recycle food scraps. Composting worms, also known as red wrigglers, can eat half their own body weight or more every day. This means that after adjusting to their new home, 1 lb. of worms will eat approximately 1/2 lb. of food each day.
Steps for building a worm bin-
1. Sort worms
2. Rip up newspaper and get it wet, like a rung out sponge.
3. Get two bins that can be stacked inside each other. Drill holes in the bottom of the top bin so the worm castings( worm poop) will fall to the bottom bin for easy collecting. Drill holes on the sides so worms can breath.
3. Add worms to bottom bin on top of some wet newspaper, this makes a nice soft bed for them.
4. Add food scraps and newspaper in the top bin. Worms will work their way up to eat the food. Worms are mostly vegans, they like most fruits and veggies , coffee grounds and egg shells are nice. Please don’t feed the worms oily or fatty foods, meat, dairy, sugar, processes foods, and please no citrus fruits such as lemons and oranges.
5. Put lid on the top and keep in shady spot.