Penn State Extension Composting at Saul H.S.
Posted: September 25, 2012
Imagine a larger pile, one that’s 15-20 cubic ft. or larger. Turning a pile of this size with a shovel, pitch or spading fork is an impossible task. The mound is just too large to be turned thoroughly. Nevertheless, this is often the case in a large community garden. In an urban farm it could be larger. The solution: well if you have $10,000 dollars and can pay a monthly electric bill an Earth Tub is a worthy solution.
Or, if you are a community garden or a public high school with shallow pockets you have to find another alternative. This is the case at W.B. Saul High School.
Static forced air composting expedites the process of microbes breaking down material in the compost pile. It is believed to be a more sustainable, less time consuming and labor intensive method. Perhaps a more conducive way for students to compost who spend half their day studying agriculture and the remainder in academic classes is the Static Forced Aeration Method.
Jessica McAtamney who teaches ES and NRM informed me about the Philadelphia Math & Science Coalition /Dow Classroom Innovations Grant. We applied and were awarded a $1,000, just enough to get started. Some of our materials were also provided by Penn State Extension.
Now school has resumed and students returning from last year will help the students new to our project get up to speed. We’ll add food waste to our pile this year and will keep you posted on our progress!