The Delaware Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) and the city of Powell are sponsoring a community workshop focusing on backyard composting. This evening workshop will be held at the Powell Municipal Building starting at 7 p.m. March 28. The cost for attending the workshop is $80 and each household will take home a five-cubic foot tumbling composter, a savings of $25.
The composter features two compartments, is easy to turn, has adjustable air vents, and can conveniently fit just about anywhere. It is made with durable recycled, UV inhibited, black plastic which absorbs heat and is designed to be rodent-proof. For a photo of the composter, please visit the Delaware SWCD’s website at www.delawareswcd.org.
Why compost? Food scraps and yard waste make up 20 to 30 percent of what we throw away, using up valuable landfill space and releasing methane gas. Compost is organic material that can be added to soil to help plants grow. Healthy plants help clean air, conserve soil, and beautify landscapes. Organic matter improves plant growth by:
- Stimulating the growth of beneficial microorganisms
- Loosening heavy soils to allow better root penetration
- Improving the capacity of the soil to hold water and nutrients
- Adding essential nutrients to the soil
All compost requires three basic ingredients: browns, greens, and water. Browns are materials such as dead leaves, branches, and twigs. Greens are grass clippings, vegetable waste, fruit scraps, and coffee grounds. The ideal compost is comprised of an equal amount of browns and greens. The brown materials provide carbon for your compost, the greens provide nitrogen, and the water provides moisture to help break down the organic matter.
As with any do it yourself project, there are recommendations. What to compost and what not to compost (and why) can be found at https://www.epa.gov/recycle/composting-home. This simple-to-follow site also features connections to more in depth resources including how to reduce food waste and a series of fact sheets, slide shows, videos, and more from the Cornell Waste Management Institute. The slide show Home Composting, which is also available as a free downloadable PDF, is a thorough explanation of home composting filled with colorful photos and graphics. It even includes the best ever composting recipe because as the author, Jean Bonhotal says, “a rind is a terrible thing to waste.”
The deadline to register for the Composter Workshop is March 24. A registration form can be printed from our website at www.delawareswcd.org or please call the office at 740-368-1921 and we will gladly mail one to you.
Other great spring and summer programs and events can be found on our website and at www.facebook.com/DelawareSWCD. Don’t miss out on the excitement!