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Contemplating Composting

Central Park compost bins

I’ve been a composter for quite a few years…piling much of my garden clippings and all of my vegetative kitchen scraps in a three sided bin and layering in leaves that I gather each fall and save for just this purpose. But I’ve always been what some would call a lazy composter…willing to wait for months for the magic to happen in its own sweet time.
This spring I decided to become a more involved part of the process and to jump start implementing that decision I took myself off to Central Park and the most recent Master Gardener sponsored class in composting and vermiculture techniques.
On a cold, windy Saturday a group of 10 or so gardeners gathered near the compost bins in Central Park and heard Steve Radosevich speak and demonstrate proper compost pile building strategies.

Steve Radosevich

All are welcome to these free workshops and it appeared that there were gardeners of all levels of experience. Good compost materials were discussed as well as what NOT to add to your mix…unless you would like to increase your local rodent population. It felt as if we were being allowed into the secret compost society as Steve shared with us his sources of free materials to add to our garden clippings and kitchen scraps.

Handouts were supplied that outlined the “compost in a hurry” process as well as the “pile it up and let it rot” method. Plans for building compost bins were also available.
Once we had covered traditional compost piles we moved on to vermicomposting. I am really excited about this…although I’m not sure why. I guess there is something that I find cool and yet challenging about turning a few kitchen scraps into major black gold for the garden. And OK….I’ll admit…someone gave me a worm bin years ago and I killed all the poor things. I hope this doesn’t mean that no one will trust me with a new batch of worms because I am determined to try again. And with the information I learned I think those little wigglers stand a pretty good chance this time!

Layering the compost materials

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