Decompose like a Pro at Atwater Ave Elementary

Gardeners this week at Atwater Elementary got along like a 2-to-1 ratio of browns to greens in a compost pile! Oho, just a little trash humor for all of you readers at home. We talked all about the importance of compost and how to tell if a compost pile is healthy and effective.

First, we identified an ideal compost recipe: Browns, greens, water, oxygen, and insects!


Then we headed over to our own compost bins and tried to identify each of these ingredients. We had far more browns than greens, but our pile was dry as the desert – you can see the gardeners determined the mix needed far more water to thrive!


In between classes, I’ve been working hard to get the garden prepped and ready for spring. I’ve added a lot more – you guessed it – compost to the beds, and have been trying to get our signs current for spring! I sadly had to take down the basil plant and am looking to replace it with an herbal flower garden, aka a “Flowers with Purpose” area. We put in some echinacea and calendula seeds, and added some native California wildflowers to give it an extra boost of color!

Hopefully we’ll see the start of these seeds soon, and maybe in the next few months our compost will be ready to top off our beds!

Thanks for all of your hard work, gardeners, and your willingness to dig around in a pile of browns and greens!

Until next time,

Ranger Natalie

Natalie Hodson

Natalie is an industrial designer with a passion for sustainability and building. She inherited her mother’s green thumb, and was fascinated with plants from a young age, spending most of her childhood wandering around the woods in Northeastern Ohio. Now, Natalie loves to spend her time wandering around national parks, trying new foods, and building things. She graduated in 2014 from the Rhode Island School of Design and has lived in LA ever since.