THE SCOOP ON COMPOST
Simply put, compost is organic matter (such as leaves, food scraps, manure) that has decomposed over time into a nutrient-rich resource beneficial to plant growth. Worms, bacteria, and fungi break down organic matter through biological processes, turning these raw materials into compost, a natural and highly effective fertilizer. Compost can then be applied to soil for a wide range of benefits. The first and most direct benefit is providing plants with essential nutrients (like nitrogen and phosphorus) for optimal health and development. Additionally, compost allows soil to retain up to 20% more water, which reduces watering frequency, builds drought resistance, and saves time, money, and ultimately our precious resource. Finally, compost improves the structure of soil, controls weeds, and suppresses a number of plant diseases. The list of benefits goes on, and it's clear that compost is a key component of agricultural sustainability and conservation.
ANNELIESE'S HOMEGROWN COMPOST
Under the guidance of our wonderful garden teacher Mr. Greg as well as our amazing maintenance crew, Willowbrook produces its very own compost. Our regular or "thermal" compost comes from a 3-bin system that uses the method of pile turning to break down organic matter, as this movement generates the heat and oxygen needed to support the organisms that cause decomposition. We also make "worm" compost, which is specifically the waste product of worms after they have broken down organic matter. Our compost is used for educational purposes during garden classes and is also applied to the soil to create a healthy growing environment.
Recently, the Willowbrook Garden has been able to generate enough compost to share with our families! We now sell both thermal and worm compost at our monthly Farmer's Markets - don't miss our last one of the year coming up this Friday, June 12th!
Here are some ways you can use our high quality compost at home:
Add a layer of thermal compost to the top of your garden beds or potted plants.
- Sprinkle thermal compost around the bases of the trees on your property
- Create a tea solution using worm compost and water your plants with it. Follow this link for specific steps on how to make Worm Tea: http://preparednessmama.com/worm-castings-tea/