Transition Brockville archive

Tag : Composting (12)

A step-by-step guide to vermicomposting

Mother Earth News / Mary Appelhof / July/August 1983

adding worms to compost beddingMy kitchen trash used to smell awful! Coffee grounds, banana peels, lettuce leaves, onion trimmings, orange peels, and plate scrapings all joined with an accumulation of papers, cans, plastic wraps, jars, and bottle caps to produce an unpleasant—and unusable—collection of refuse. Although I emptied the trash can frequently to reduce the odor in the kitchen, I had to hold my breath when I did!

But no longer! I’ve now solved my problem entirely with the help of Eisenia foetida, the common red wiggler (or brandling) worm. That’s right, worms eat my garbage! What’s more, they convert it to black, earthy-smelling, nutrient-rich humus that I use to grow delicious garden vegetables and beautiful houseplants. Operating an indoor worm-powered waste converter is easy, convenient, environmentally sound, and inexpensive. It’s fun, too. Anyone can do it, and here’s how.


Scientists: Be lazy, don’t rake leaves

Newser / Kate Seamons / 20 November 2014

raking leavesYour honey-do list just got one item shorter, and you can tell your spouse he or she can’t argue it—because scientists say so. Washington state’s KING picks up some fresh advice offered by the National Wildlife Federation in a blog post titled “What to do With Fallen Leaves” (summary: not much). Leave your fallen leaves on the ground and you’ll actually be doing Mother Nature a service, it explains, because dry, dead leaves create a healthy habitat for salamanders, chipmunks, earthworms, and more to live in or source food from.


How to make your own potting soil

Mother Earth News / Barbara Pleasant / December 2008/January 2009

how-to-make-your-own-potting-soilPotting soil self-sufficiency is good for your pocketbook, your plants and the planet, and you actually gain convenience by always having potting soil ready when you need it. If you have soil and compost, you’ve got the basic ingredients for making your own potting soil. In place of peat moss, perlite and vermiculite (the three leading ingredients in bagged potting soil), you can simply combine your best soil with cured compost, leaf mold, rotted sawdust (from untreated wood) or a long list of other organic ingredients. Prepare some small batches, mix it with store-bought stuff to stretch your supply, and gradually make the transition to what potting soil should be — a simple, nurturing medium for growing healthy plants or starting seeds.


Earth Repair – Homegrown Healing of Toxic Lands

Peak Moment TV / 08 March 2015

“Nature has been healing itself for a very long time, [but] there are ways for us as human beings to ally with the different organisms and try to facilitate their work.” Leila Darwish, author of Earth Repair, provides a grassroots guide to healing toxic and damaged landscapes. She talks about involving the local community, getting the soil and/or water tested periodically, and approaching the work with humility rather than “humans know best.”

How to prepare your garden for spring planting

Mother Earth News / Barbara Pleasant / 14 January 2015

qaulity-compostTaking time in spring to build fertility and loosen soil will set you up for a more productive year. First, a few weeks before you plan to plant, work in any cover crops and then blanket your garden bed with at least a half-inch layer of good compost — a full inch would be even better. The compost will provide the soil with a fresh infusion of nutrient-rich organic matter, and improve the soil’s ability to handle water and nourish your crops. Quality bagged compost can be pricey at garden centers. Unearth local sources of bulk compost by checking Craigslist [or City of Brockville; Kijiji], or try posting to one of MOTHER EARTH NEWS’ location-specific Facebook pages.


Using Leaves in the Garden

Mother Earth News / Vicki Mattern / 18 September 2013

Leaves are one of the main ingredients of the dark, rich humus that covers the forest floor — nature’s compost. A gardener can replicate that humus by mixing carbon-rich leaves with nitrogen-rich manure or grass clippings to make compost.

Maintaining an active compost pile in winter can be a challenge, however. An easier alternative is to use leaves in the garden in fall, says Abigail Maynard, associate agricultural scientist at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, who has studied the use of leaves as a garden soil amendment for more than 10 years.


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Transition Towns are in the forefront of those preparing for the changes ahead. Transitioners understand that the climate-changed future is hugely unpredictable and unstable. They feel keenly the dilemma of our daily life dependence on a dominant economic system that is threatening that very life with its insistence on unending material consumption and use of fossil fuels.

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