Composting: An Underutilized yet Rich Resource for Home and Community Gardening
Come ’round for a workshop to learn HOW TO BUILD A PEST RESISTANT COMPOST BIN for your home or community garden. (for about $65)
Patsy Parker and her merry crew of compost bin builders, AKA COMPOSTIDORES, will arrive at the Greenhouse Urban Farming Community Garden @ GFCDC, Saturday, June 4 around 1:00 pm. for a 2-1/2 hour hands-on workshop on How to Build your Own Compost bin from wooden shipping pallets and hardware cloth.
There will also be a perennial plant exchange in celebration of FROGTOWN FARM, & [maybe] a chance to pick up some FrogTown Farm “Magic” Beans to take home & grow to show your support for grassroots efforts to create a beautiful, artful, community supported and community enhancing 13 acre public space at the old Wilder Foundation site in Frogtown.
Plan to join us for a practical and fun workshop and an opportunity to bring some of your seeds and/or plants to share with others, and pick up some new ones for your own yard & garden.
See you at the Greenhouse Urban Farming Community Garden at the Greater Frogtown CDC, Saturday, June 4 at 1:00 pm.
GREENHOUSE COMMUNITY GARDEN @ GFCDC in St. Paul.
533 Dale Street is about 2 1/2 short blocks north of University on west side of Dale.
Some parking is available in the alley on the south side of the CDC, also on the west side of Dale Street.
Compost like a Yippie
I finally got my Earth Machine up and running, and so now I’m in a “compost EVERYTHING” mode. Planet Green has an article “75 things you can compost, but thought you couldn’t.” And, among other helpful composting articles, “How to Make Hot Compost,” how to compost without a yard, and a Guerilla human waste composting program in Chicago. Since reading these, I’ve decided to piss in my compost bin.
Planet Green also told me where to buy a yippie compost bin (read: hippie + yuppie). I want it.
Unrelatedly, Ready Made posted an article, “The Captivating Case of Quinoa” about how quinoa got to the U.S. from South America. Relatedly, only a few of my quinoa seeds have sprouted so far. Is anyone out there having success with it?
A present for me
So one of the risks of gathering compost for free from your city is that you don’t necessarily know what has been put in the pile, how long the constituents have been breaking down, and whether seeds and rhizomes have been broken down enough so as not to weed your garden. I didn’t realize until this weekend that this risk can also be a benefit. I had been keeping my free Saint Paul compost covered with a plastic sheet so it wouldn’t be washed away with the rain, and when I uncovered it this weekend, I found surprise peonies extending up to greet me!
I must admit, and remind you, that I am a newcomer when it comes to gardening, and had no idea whether these upcoming plants were a friend or foe, so I removed them with the rhizomes (they were in the planned location for my newly acquired colonnade apple tree) and set them aside to research them later. My mom came over the next morning for Mother’s Day and, as mothers tend to do, taught me something. I’ve since replanted them and am hoping that I didn’t kill them. I would love too see what it looks (and smells) like! Thanks, mommy!
Go to the Recycling Association of Minnesota to pre-order deeply discounted rain barrels and compost bins. I just ordered THE EARTH MACHINE, which sounds pretty bad-ass when you say it with the same inflection that I do.
Also, I just noticed on RAM’s website that you can recycle your lap-top for FREE, just click on their link to e-mail them your mailing address, and they’ll send you a postage-paid recycling kit. Electronic waste is a big problem for people and the environment when we dispose of them incorrectly. So take this free opportunity to do it right!
I also noticed that they also sell and teach about composting worms, which is an approach that creeps me out, but I could probably grow to love.
So this house was built in the late 1800′s, and I can tell the soil in the front lawn is going to need a lot of help. Although I have the sad beginnings of a compost pile, it’s nowhere near a usable state to incorporate it in the garden. And I definitely don’t want to drop a lot of money on compost because…well…it’s garbage. So, it’s perfect timing that the Saint Paul compost sites opened yesterday. This is awesome news because, if you’re a resident of Ramsey County, you can stop by and pick up free compost. They tend to run out early in the springtime, so you want to make it over to one of the locations as soon as you can. Through November you can drop off your compost-ables, too.
Of course I made it down to the one by my house and loaded up a bin of delicious goodness, and there was already a decent dent in the hill. I might go back in the next couple days for one more bin.
I haven’t been able to find a similar program in Minneapolis. Does anyone know? They do provide free wood chips, though.