Summer 2007 Introductory Bioregional Class: Compost

Ramon Loor’s Weekly Report #8

Bioregionalism Education
Summer Session 2007

July 18th & 20th  

Wednesday we met as usual at the city park to begin another class.  This week’s theme was Compost.  Planet Drum volunteer Melissa led the first part of the class and taught about the decomposition of organic materials.  There were nine different steps in process of how organic material decomposes that she covered.  She passed out materials detailing the process and read over them with the students.  They discussed garbage separation, how to make a compost heap, and how the bacteria and decomposers work to break down the materials to form nutrient rich soil.  They also talked about how the materials at large garbage dumps are often covered with dirt and don’t receive enough oxygen for the bacteria to break down the organic matter, which can lead to methane gas production.  Finally, they discussed the uses of compost and how it can be a benefit in agriculture as a fertilizer for nutrient poor soil.     

On Friday we met with Planet Drum volunteers and took a trip to their greenhouse at the Catholic University.  While there they explained how they turn organic waste into compost for the trees.  

The students helped mix some of the compost they have there and prepared a new compost heap.  We saw the worms and maggots that live in the compost and help with decomposition.  The students got to water the plants and also helped plant Caoba seeds with the direction of the Planet Drum volunteers.  

And finally they transplanted Cascol seedlings that had sprouted in some of the seed beds.  It was a long afternoon with lots of work at the greenhouse, but all the students had a great time, and as the sun was beginning to drop in the sky, we caught the bus back to Bahia.

Translated by Clay.

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