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Learn About Composting Day
We’ve done all kinds of composting – indoor vermicomposting, fancy layered composting, rotating bin composting, the boss-level: ‘Send the kids dump scraps in/near a pile the yard.’ (Take certain types of food waste, and put them in a pile in the back yard. Ignore it until it turns to dirt.)
And now that our city has developed a rat infestation (from knocking down a block of abandoned buildings – not composting), we’re using bokashi buckets. Rats hate bokashi!
Composting is not as complicated as garden bloggers and youtubers make it out to be. I don’t think we need a kid’s book about this. But also, I am a worn-out pair of saggy mom-jeans, so I get it if you don’t want to do sloppy composting like we do. If you want to get fancy, mix in some leaves and cardboard, and poke it sometimes.
Most folks don’t have free municipal composting or access to private land to compost. Here’s a few of our options below.
When is it?
- May 29th
Exploring Basic DIY Composting with Kids (for land-havers)
If you have a back yard, be like “We are going to start composting.” Then designate a spot on the ground not too close to anyone’s house (it’s basically a giant bird feeder, so expect visitors and their poops.)
Before throwing food in your compost pile, google ‘Can I compost this?‘ Some types of food (meat, oil) attracts rats. Orange peels take forever to break down. It’s okay to be choosy in what you add! It’s okay to start small and only compost some things.
Exploring Vermicomposting with Kids (indoors)
If you live in an apartment or don’t have a yard or your town has rude laws about it or whatever, learn about vermicomposing.
I will admit vermicomposting is a little complicated because these are basically worm pets. And does take up space in your home. But hey, pets with valuable poop!
You can DIY it, or buy a fancy bin or grab one off a free stuff group. We kept our pet worms in this one until we moved to a place with yard for regular compost.
Advanced Composting with Kids (land-havers)
If you really must make this complicated, or are worried about weeds or squirrels stealing your dirt, you can get fancy and turn your compost and add proper amounts of browns & greens.
Check out this video by the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network on how to make fancy layers or cages, and water it and stuff.
Don’t want to care for worm pets? Too lazy for all that?
Try bokashi composting, it’s kid-friendly, low-maintenance, and rats hate it.
I thought this would be too complicated, expensive, and potentially stinky, but we’ve been using a bokashi process for a year now and it’s easier for us than a compost pile.
For a mostly-vegetarian family of 4, we use three food-grade buckets, have gone through 1.5 bags of organic bokashi powder, and old newspaper and school paper scraps.
We no longer have to trek out into the snow to dump the compost in the winter, as we keep the processing buckets in a kitchen cabinet, and then bury them when the ground thaws in the spring. It only smells when you open the bucket to put stuff in – a tasty fermenty pickle-smell if you’re doing it right, a little bit barfy if the contents are too wet (just add more paper).