Monday, May 22, 2017

May 20 at the Kitchen and Labyrinth Gardens

Marcelo, Susan, Gabriela, Iris, Linda H, Blanca, Solange, Lenore and Chris were at the garden this Saturday.

Lenore, Marcelo, Chris and Gabriela focused on the Labyrinth and did some trimming, planting, weeding, watering, and replacing border stones. The Labyrinth is looking pretty good, thought there are some problem areas. We are hoping to get advice from a seasoned gardener on what plants may be best suited to the partially shaded conditions, and how to improve soil conditions. The idea is to choose native plants that will not require watering once established.

Meanwhile, at the Kitchen Garden, the rest of the crew worked on weeding individual beds, lamented some discoloration on the leaves that Susan thinks might signal leaf borers (on the spinach and kale--we cut off those leaves and threw them in the garbage, not the compost), cut down the cover crop in the middle bed and spread it on top of the bed. Marcelo also spread hay on the newly relocated beds and at the front of the garden by Oak St.

Iris and Gabriela.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Compost update: Paper cups and egg shells

May 19th, 2017.

The active pile is filling up quickly and getting hot. The warmest part was at 120°F!

Two observations for this week:
  1. Paper cups are, for the most part, non-compostable, as they are usually lined with a plastic film. These, unfortunately, belong to the trash (and it's best to avoid them as much as possible).
    Don't be confused by the recycle symbol! It indicates that the cup is made with recycled material, but it is NOT recyclable.
  2. Egg shells need to be thoroughly crushed. They take forever to decompose and usually look intact even after everything else is fully composted. They can go to the soil anyway and will VERY SLOWLY provide calcium and other nutrients, BUT THEY HAVE TO BE IN TINY PIECES. An alternative is to use the shells to prepare a liquid fertilizer for blooms.  
    These shells probably spent close to a year in the compost pile and are still intact!
    Crush the shells before composting. The smaller the better!
Thank you for helping return these nutrients back to the earth!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Compost Update April 6-13

Looks like our worms and microorganisms keep working hard! Last Friday the active bin was around 108°F!

Unfortunately, there are still some issues with the scraps. The last couple visits (April 6 and April 13) there were whole paper bags in the active bin and whole fruits and veggies. While paper can be composted, IT NEEDS TO BE IN SMALL PIECES.


  • If you are collecting your scraps in paper bags, empty the contents in the active bin and then PLEASE RIP THE BAG IN SMALL PIECES, COVERING THE SCRAPS. If needed, add more "browns" from the left bin to make sure the scraps are covered. 
  • By the way, covering the scraps will become increasingly critical as the weather gets warmer because the decomposing scraps may attract vermin and become a nuisance. 
Paper bags are OK, but not whole!

That's more like it!