What’s in our compost? | Foster

Today we had an open discussion about compost with Foster students…


We began with defining DECOMPOSE. Some students knew this but it was a mystery to most. It means BREAKING DOWN. We can break down anything – fractions in math from big numbers to small numbers, a big pizza into small pieces. But we can also break down food scraps into soil. We call this a COMPOST PILE.

What kinds of things can go into the compost? Only things that come from plants. Fruit and vegetable scraps and paper are three things kids can easily remember. We also discuss that trash can’t go in there because worms don’t like to eat plastic bottles and chip bags. 😀

On that note, what kind of animals like to hang out in the compost? We talked about the FBIs – Fungus, Bacteria and Invertebrates. These creatures are our friends and they break down the things in the compost pile back into soil. This soil is super duper healthy for our plants!

Lastly, we drew a compost cake – alternating layers of greens. It’s important to alternate wet, sticky stuff and dry, crunchy stuff so that our pile doesn’t smell 😛 The kids helped make a list of “wet” and “dry” examples to layer in the pile.

And finally we checked out the compost pile in the garden (featured image), which had a ton of worms in it!

– 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.