Planting Seedlings and Composting

cups in roosevelt

This week the students at Roosevelt had gardening on Tuesday and Thursday because I was out of town last week. The whole week was focused on composting. The first day we discussed what composting is and how it differs from soil (which is primarily just dirt, rocks, clay and silt). We talked about the actual process of decomposition which includes bacteria and fungus, that are vital to the breakdown of organic matter and aid to the compost reaching up to 140F. Insects, which thrive in that warm environment, also breakdown the compost by eating it, digesting it and pooping it out. These insects help compost get the texture of garden fertilizer. We went out into the garden and made our own composts that students will get to observe in the classroom over the next few weeks. We also planted all the seeds planted three weeks ago. Some are happily growing, others have yet to germinate.

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Thursday, students got a STEM lesson and explored how to engineer a compost bin. Students in groups of 3-4 were  given 40 Popsicle sticks and 2 strips of tape and were asked to create a compost bin. There were no rules and no limits. I didn’t specify a size or shape and the only goal was to try and fit as much soil/ compost into a bin as possible. We measured how much each bin could hold on a scale, with a few bins remarkably breaking the scale!

20170216_143058 20170216_144130 compost bins

 

Lindsay De May

My love for food and enriching food systems has brought me to LA after graduating in May from Syracuse University with a degree in Food Studies, concentrating on food politics and governance. I grew up gardening with my family in New Mexico, spent a summer working on an organic produce farm in New York, and spent three years as a teaching assistant for food science, locavorism and culinary arts classes. I look forward to incorporating my experiences in developing an exciting curriculum for my elementary and high school courses, with the hope that I'll inspire them to appreciate food the way I do!

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