This is the 2rd year for the Plants in the Classroom Project. See the previous project in 2017-2018
Vermicomposting is a Green Steps project for restoring soil. This Green Steps project has 3 components:
- Students learn something about restoring soil
- Do something to restore soil
- Teach others about what they have learned about restoring soil
We planned this project at the Harbison State Forest, where we have partnered with them to help with the Habitat Garden at the Education Center.
Don’t Waste Food Initiative–DHEC resources
LEARN: The primary focus of this lesson was about food waste that is going into our landfills. DHEC has resources and information on their website about the Don’t Waste Food initiative. They tell us 40% of the landfill is food waste. This can be reduced by reducing what we buy, donating to needy and by composting.
Our motivation for getting involved in this project to solve two problems: instead of wasting food, we could redistribute it to needy people or animals. What can’t be used by anyone, can help the environment by making compost.
Shredded newspaper is our “brown” ingredient instead of dried leaves.
DO: Vermicomposting is a countertop experiment to learn more about how composting works. Families are encouraged to take the initiative to start their own backyard compost bin. But, our countertop bins followed the basic “recipe” for composting: Browns (we used newspaper), Greens (we used bite-sized pieces of strawberry tops), moisture and worms.
Counting the worms for starter bin.
Students counted out their starter worms. Bin got 3-5 starter worms. This is the amount of worms that I had started with about a year before. We distributed over a 100 worms from the 3-5 that I had started with. So, they are looking forward to distributing some “friendship worms” by next year.
Students started their own vermicompost bin.
TEACH: Students are taking their compost bins home to observe more about the composting process. They are telling their friends and families about the ongoing problem of food waste in our landfills. Composting is just one of the ways to help.
Families were also given additional information about understanding food labels and sell by dates–because food still safe to eat after these dates. Guidelines for donating food. Plus some printable tip sheets for starting a backyard compost bin.
Old rotted pumpkin is a perfect starter for compost bin.
Harbison Forest has several varieties of compost bins on display in the Habitat Garden. We have started composting in these bins. It’s a public presentation to teach others about composting. Plus we are excited to compare the types of bins to see which one if most effective and useful.
Read more about our Green Steps Projects 2018-2019: