As part of your child’s focus on environmental stewardship, we will be doing some composting activities in Explorer’s Learning Garden after Winter Break. These activities will prepare us for a ground breaking school-wide project that will help to reduce Explorer’s waste by hundreds of pounds every month.
Last week, Room One participated in a read-aloud of Composting: Nature’s Recyclers by Robin Koontz, and we learned about the process of decomposition. We created Petri-dish experiments to see what items (orange peel, cardboard and Styrofoam) will decompose. This research will help us understand what should and shouldn’t go into our composter.
Today, students created a compost bag, an enclosed system for decomposition, and predicted what items in the bag will decompose and which ones will not over the break. We also examined our vermiculture composting system where worms decompose vegetable matter to make soil. This research tells us approximately how long it will take for items in our composter to decompose.
In January, we will be creating a compost heap for the school. We will build the heap in our new composter (purchased through a lovely new grant) and will fill it with recess and lunch food scraps. Throughout the remainder of the school year we will use math to measure the size and temperature of the heap and will record the data in our field files. We will also experiment with the effects of amending soil with compost by planting two garden beds—one with compost and one without.
All the data we attain from our activities will be shared with fellow gardeners in Room Two who are growing produce for our hot lunch program.
We invite your family to try your hand at composting as well. For more information on making your compost heap at home, visit www.howtocompost.org
Feel free to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have questions or suggestion and if you’d like to volunteer.