Composting at Ramona

For some reason, composting is one of the hardest lessons for me to teach kids. Though it’s quite a simple concept, decomposition is best understood when observing it happening. With inner-city schools far away from hiking trails and big backyards, my students can really only observe the process in their school garden.

So today was a bit of a rocky introduction, but an introduction nonetheless!

With the older students we discussed the point of composting: Nature’s way of recycling living things. When a tree dies, it falls and FBIs discretely begin the process of breaking down the matter inside the tree. More than likely this process already began happening when the tree was alive. The decomposition of the tree continues even when the remnants disintegrate into chunks of bark and turn into mulch, which then spreads over the forest floor, settling amongst fallen leaves and dead plants.

To mimic this decomposition, we can create a compost pile with fruit and vegetable scraps as well as crunchy leaves and sticks. Over time these things will turn into soil, too!

After explaining this I showed the students their compost pile as well as the worm bin and challenged them to collect fruit and veggie scraps from lunch throughout the week. We’ll see how it goes next week!

In the meantime, we harvested more butternut squash!

~ Ranger Hope

Hope Cox

Native to Tennessee, Hope fell in love with urban farming while majoring in Nutrition/Dietetics at UT Chattanooga. She volunteered at an urban farm there for two years and gleaned (pun intended!) bushels of knowledge about harvesting & planting, CSA box coordination, farmers market stands, school field trips, farm-to-table and more. When Hope moved to Los Angeles in late 2014, she began volunteering with EnrichLA and soon after became a Ranger. She loves sharing with her elementary students the hands-on experience of gardening, finding bugs, composting and eating from the garden. The expression of glee on the students' faces when they discover a new critter or favorite vegetable is the best part of Hope's day! One day, she hopes to be a real farmer in the country but for now is glad to be learning the ins-and-outs of inner-city farming.