The Cranbrook Food Action Committee and Cranbrook Public Produce Garden (PPG) volunteers hosted a composting workshop on Tuesday, August 18. The workshop focused on building knowledge around the basics of composting, as well as raising awareness throughout the community that the compost bin at the local garden is available for residents to use.
Heather Viers, the 2020 Project Assistant with the Food Action Committee, says anyone is welcome to bring their food scraps to contribute to the compost, so long as they follow the guidelines.
“We do accept community compost, and there are usually volunteers here to help out if there are any questions,” Viers said.
Robert Holmes, who is a volunteer at the garden and has a strong focus on composting, says it’s important the community know and talk about regeneration, which is essentially the cornerstone of the composting process.
Compost takes food and garden scraps and turns them into rich organic matter that can be mixed with other soil or added on top. Compost is a mix of brown and green materials that break into smaller pieces. Flies lay their eggs on the rotting material, turn into worms, and create soil that is healthy and beneficial to use later on in the gardening process.
Brown materials accepted at the PPG include dry leaves, paper, cardboard and wood chips. Green materials include fruits and vegetables, grass clippings, house plants, tea bags and coffee grounds.
Things like oil, fat, dairy, fish, meat/bones, plastics and metals cannot be composted.
To use the compost, layer material with half greens and half browns. Toss with a shovel or pitchfork to aerate, and add water if bins are drier than a wrung out sponge.
Composting can help to reduce food waste, become food for plants and reduce greenhouse emissions.
There are several workshops coming up at the PPG including a weeding workshop on Thursday, August 20 at 10 a.m., and a history talk in collaboration with the Cranbrook History Centre on Wednesday, August 26.
The history talk is called Cranbrook Market Gardens and will focus on the history of gardens in Cranbrook. Admission to both workshops is free of charge. COVID-19 protocols are in place at the garden including hand washing and sanitizing, as well as social distancing. It is asked that anyone who is composting or gardening bring their own tools and gloves.
Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.