I waste less-I compost Black Gold!

Compost is a soil conditioner, mulch and fertilizer all wrapped into one. It feeds the soil microorganisms that help plants stay healthy,  adds nutrients to the soil, and helps clay soil drain better and sandy soil  retain water. Plus, composting reduces your contribution to the waste stream by  recycling yard and kitchen waste into the world’s best soil amendment.  My Wipe Out Friend, Nadine once said-  Just dig a one-foot hole  in the yard and cover it with a board or bricks until it is full of organic waste. Once your hole is full, bury it with soil, and dig another one to keep composting all winter long. But it wasn’t tht simple. at least not for me it wasn’t.

I tried composting before. My husband idn’t appreciate it much. Everytime I collectedwhat I thought was a good supply, he threw it away. I got crush in spirit, but would keep trying, hoping that the next batch would be a winner. But they all would have the same results….in the trash!  finsi waste

See, we had a garden and I really wanted something good and affrodableto ensure our lots growth without any chemicals. As new family farmers we didn’t know much. I remeber hearing about compost and seeing these dirty looking bins at other gardeners lot at the community garden. Then I seen a posting for a free composting class and quickly secured my spot. I figured if I learned to do it the right way, maybe he wouldn’t trash my stash. Ok….fast forwarding to last weekend. Mary Kay and Shelly came to my house and  gave me the greatest gift ever; knowledge!

 

See what we did-1 5 2 3 4 6 7 8 9 10 11a 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Built the composting bin.

For a compost system to work, it needs a healthy mix of browns and greens, moisture, oxygen, heat, and an assortment of decomposers which will turn kitchen scraps and yard waste into nutrient rich compost.

Winter composting also pays off by having a supply of organic material ready to  use for spring planting.
Position the compost station in the best possible place.  The sun and its warmth  are crucial to the composting process. Choose a place that allows the compost  station to catch full sun for as long as possible.

The two basic elements that make up compost are green garden debris (grass  clippings or old annuals) and brown garden derbis (dry leaves). Green  ingredients are high in nitrogen and brown materials are high in carbon. Adding  too many greens can make the pile smell bad. Do not add animal waste, meats,  oils, dairy, diseased plants, weeds that have gone to seed, or plants treated  with pesticides or herbicides to your compost.

Collect stuff: leaves and compost waste lie raw food. Not blood or oil based items.Over time, the materials in our compost bin will naturally degrade.

As you can see, everyone helped! We asked questions & listen to the answers and enjoyed the hands on workshop!

1. Should I cover it at all as it get cooler? I just read that -Insulate the compost bin.  This can be done easily by either gluing or stapling  insulating material to the inside of the bin.  An inexpensive insulator can be  made by simply using foam wrapped in black plastic.  The black plastic will heat up and the foam will hold the heat.

2.  When do I add soil to my compost pile?

Read more HERE!

Ever heard of a counter top compost column? I think it’s a great starter for kids.

and here –Nine Ways to Get Plants and Trees for Free.

 

finished-compost-02

OK  ya’ll till next time!    …..looking for the STEAM!  QC Supermom

Friday four: Going GMO Friendly

October 2012 marks the third annual Non-GMO Month, and the celebration could not be more timely.

The Fresh Expo was a great start! It got my mind  running. I got empowerment. I would really feel like a failure if I didn’t take advantage of the information I learned. The recipes seem over whelming, as well as the idea of the upfront expense but bottom line I gotta start somewhere so that my kids will thank me later.

Continuing from Wednesday, my last post, here’s what we’ve been up to in the QC.

We watched  Food Inc. last night at the Mecklenburg County Cooperative Extension   with a few friends and my children. We do good, in the light of  shopping but I think we can do better. We have habits that are not aligned with the overall goals of our family. Being a mom of daughters, it’s even more of a goal to teach them how to eat well at  a young age. (Yes, it’s equally important for my son’s to learn as well.)

Here are four things to know when you are playing GMO roulette!

1.Educate yourself. Did you know that researchers in France just published peer-reviewed research showing that Roundup herbicide and GMO Roundup Ready crops can cause tumours, multiple organ damage and lead to premature death? For the most comprehensive, up-to-date resource on the web for news like this about the GMO issue, check out the Non-GMO Project’s Facebook page. If you’re not on Facebook, you can watch the home page of the Project’s website for the same news feed.

This is a conversation I had with a college friend:

  • Renee/her: Read a book over the summer called Seeds of Deception. Scared the you know what out of me. Great read but only if you want to know the truth and unfortunately people find it easier to ignore.
  • me: You’re right Renee. We watched Food Inc. again…..I’m certain that we will be going GMO free 100% real soon. I feel that to not make a change after learning is child abuse.

2.Support mandatory GMO labeling efforts. Tell your community about it! Find out if there are any mandatory labeling efforts in the works that you can support in your state. And no matter where you live, be sure you’ve signed the Just Label It petition to the FDA!

3.Host or attend an event. Check out the Non-GMO Month events calendar, and consider adding an event of your own. One powerful but easy idea? Host a film screening in your living room. Invite friends over to watch Genetic Roulette or The Future of Food and serve Non-GMO Project Verified snacks! Last night, I took all of my kids to watch Food Inc.  Lisa Leake, of 100 days of  Real Food, was there as a guest speaker. What a realistic and down to earth mom she is. I brought home some amazing literature to share with my sahm’s.

4.Find a Non-GMO Month Retailer near youMore than 1,300 natural food stores across the U.S. and Canada are participating in Non-GMO Month this year. These retailers are offering clear labeling, educational materials, and great deals on verified products. Show your support for their efforts by shopping at their stores and thanking them for being part of Non-GMO Revolution!  We frequent Earth Fare because of their coupons and other community engagement incentives.

Here’s more tips to get you started:

CLICK HERE!

Also, be sure to stop by my facebook page to win prizes from

Swircles & Happy family!