I had a great work day experience at the West Broad Street community garden today participating in a composting workshop. Our compost expert was an undergrad student at the University of Georgia, Athens and was so knowledgeable and helpful in getting us to all understand the process of composting. We discussed the differences between anaerobic and aerobic composting and the ways in which each needs to be dealt with. Essentially we created what was called “windrows”, piles of organic matter set up in striations of nitrogen rich materials(coffee grinds) alternating with carbon rich materials (brown matter) on top of a tube without holes throughout that is able to carry oxygen throughout the pile. The whole idea is that oxygenated compost will speed up the process of composting. Volunteers and Interns got to sort through piles, learning about different ways to more efficiently compost. We moved difficult to compost items like heavy pieces of wood, which will be broken down in a wood chip machine so this week to assist in their decomposition process. All and all the workshop was informative and definitely a “work” shop in the truest sense of the word.
Some of the things I noticed was the incredible odor coming from the anaerobically decomposing compost as opposed to the “windrows”. The odor of methane and sulfur was evident coming from the compost matter that wasn’t aerated and allowed more regular exposure to oxygen.
My daughter is here watering the shitake mushroom logs..Lots of fun times at the Garden