by ZeBot, Lilliana (age 9) & the Planet DooF Kids
We went to visit Potrero Nuevo farm to learn about the best ways to grow vegetables, fruit and herbs. We also learned about the best ways to use scraps from those foods to help other plants grow.
It’s called composting and it’s a way to feed plants using the natural waste that comes from other plants. Composting is a way to break down organic material in waste so that it can become a fertilizer for a garden or a farm.
We walked around with Farmer Suzie who showed us the fields and greenhouses where everything grows. Then we went to where they have a compost pile. We did not want to get too close but our friend ZeBot the zebra said he’d have his picture taken so we did.
We asked how composting works. Basically you take scraps of fruits and vegetables and grass and whatever and put in in a pile on your farm or in your backyard. You can keep a container in your kitchen to keep your food scraps in until you are ready to put them in the pile.
When composting happens microorganisms in the soil eat the scraps and break it down to make a fertilizer. If you want it to happen faster you can add worms. You also have to move stuff in the pile around which is called turning the compost pile. It takes either weeks or months to make the compost. It depends on what is in it and the weather and other things.
There a lot of ways to use composting including the funny outhouse on the farm where we took a picture of ZeBot. You should not try to do this unless you are a compost expert because human and animal waste is poisonous for compost unless you know a bunch of expert things.
The best way for a beginner to learn composting is to start saving kitchen scraps then put them in a pile in your yard. Then wait for them to turn into fertilizer. Then put that on your garden to feed it. You could do this at home or your school garden if you have one.
Why should you have a compost pile? Because it is a way to recycle things like apple cores and vegetable peels and other things that someone might just put in a garbage can. And it’s really cool that the garbage plants can end up feeding other plants.
We should all compost because it’s good for the plants and good for us and good for the earth!