Compost Layers at Juan Cabrillo

I love that Frank and I get a chance to hang out with several recess periods throughout the day in between garden classes. The kids gleefully skip over to the garden to help us with whatever needs to get done. The tasks could be as simple as pinching flowers off the basil bushes, removing brown leaves from the kale, picking up trash, feeding the worm bin, aerating one of the beds …. these 1st and 2nd graders are just so happy to be in the garden!

Today, I wanted to flip the compost piles. I used this opportunity to show the students about decomposition. At first, the pile just looked like a bunch of sticks….
…But as we removed the top layers, we discovered a beautiful, black pile of broken down materials. And in the middle were clusters of pink worms. We talked about the kinds of ingredients we can add to the pile that the worms can eat, such as apples, cucumbers, banana peels and coffee grounds. I was really proud how much the kids already knew!


Then I let the kids hang out with the worms while I finished flipping the pile and putting all the materials back in the box. I bet these kids could observe the worms all day! 😀


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.