Your weekly update on all things compost related at the garden!

Another great week at the garden! We collected one full bin this week of food scraps diverted from our landfills. It rained the entire duration of our collection window, so maybe that’s why we didn’t get more, but I’m not complaining! Slowly but surely we are filling the bin at our garden.

Compost NOW reached out to see if we would be willing to collect from another site. We’ll need to look into the logistics but as I see it, why not? Really I was sending vibes into the universe for more browns, but the universe responded with more greens instead… luckily cardboard is a readily available free resource. If we say yes we will double our current impact, so it seems like a no brainer. Stay tuned.

On an aside, I did a thing the other day. I submitted an article for a Write for Earth, I’m sharing below. It highlights how much I’ve enjoyed this compost adventure and how I believe it’s helped me take a more active role in mitigating the effects of global warming on a small scale. After writing it, I realized that even though we’re counting our impact on how many bins we fill once a week, each one really does add up. Thank you to everyone who’s been consistently contributing to the cause and thanks for those that gave it a go, we hope you come back when you’re in the mood to assist in diverting food waste! Newbies always welcomed!

Without further ado, my article:

What can one person do to fight climate change and take an active role in a more sustainable future? As it turns out, a lot.

Recently I started a community garden in my neighborhood in New Orleans, LA, U.S.A. If you’d have asked me a year ago if I would consider Sunday to mean “Community Compost Day!”, I would have laughed. As it turns out, I offer community compost drop off services at the garden every Sunday, from 10am-1pm. Before I digress in a muck of compost tales, let’s just summarize and say, I learned about a problem and intended to go about doing my part to solve it. Not only did I compost, I took other folx food scraps to do a little bit more. And that’s all it was, a tad bit extra effort to establish a new site to collect food waste, turn it into compost, and divert it from landfills. Happy Sunday became synonymous with community composting day…

Influenced by an abundance of blighted and vacant city owned property in our neighborhood, we saw an opportunity to fix a problem in our community. We found a program to lease a lot from the city and submitted a proposal to “grow green” for our neighborhood. We built upcycled raised beds (that will need replacing this winter due to rot and termites) and planted vegetables. We constructed pollinator gardens, because we like and need more pollinators in this world. Medicinal herbs and plants are dispersed throughout the property to create habitat friendly environments and native species are carefully cultivated on the lot. We planted trees in the winter and patiently waited until the spring for our beloved sunflowers. Currently the loofahs are stealing the stage, along with the beans, peas,and cantaloupe spilling into the scene. The garden is lovely. 

We go to the garden every morning, as a family. My husband does more than he should to tend to the trees and our precious beds. Our 2 year old elected herself to monitor the compost bins and move rocks and other small treasures she finds all around the property. She lives within an urban city and will have memories of growing up on a farm because of all she experiences while playing in the garden. She respects all living things, and we could not be more proud.

As part of the lease no monetary exchanges can be made in the property. We’re leasing a piece of land just to love it and share its possibilities with our neighbors. It’s a labor of love, and worth all our energy.

We expanded our composting endeavors and recently became proud parents to 250 red wigglers. We were successful with our two bin hot composting at the garden and have grown our experiment to include adventures in vermiculture to our portfolio. It’s fun to feed the worms a banana peel after breakfast. I’m not even that into worms, but we love the idea of having fresh castings for side dressing plants in the garden. Again, once we just decided to do it, it just became one more little thing we do, to do our part.

I wear used clothes and I wear out the clothes I have before donating them. I turn the sink off when I’m washing my hands or brushing my teeth and I am mindful of water usage. I use water when I need it, and am careful not to allow it to run down the drain when it doesn’t have to. We “let it mellow when it’s yellow” in this house, and I feel good about that. We recycle and save our glass to drop off at the one place in town to make sure that gets recycled too. We’re conscientious when we purchase things, and we could improve in trying to be more plastic-free. It seems impossible to me, but I’m aware it’s an area I could grow, so I’m going to do my best to try. 

Maybe I lost you at composting. Maybe the idea of a worm compost system in your backyard is not your thing. But maybe the idea of only drinking water from a reusable container doesn’t seem like that much of a hardship to you and now you might want to give it a go… I don’t know about you, but I think doing the little things that require such little extra effort from me all add up to big things that do have an impact on working towards a more sustainable future for all of us. 

And there you have it. We all might not have our own garden to experiment growing food from seed. Not everyone has the space to host a community compost operation, I get it. But if everyone made an effort to do the little things for the greater good, I do believe we have the ability to change the world for the better. I know little things add up. I encourage anyone that has read this far to introduce one new little thing into your routine to join me in trying to have a more active role in fighting the effects of climate change. Together, all those little things can really add up. At least that’s what I believe and this is my hope for my daughter and her future.

I’ll conclude on this gem that gets me going when I work in the garden; we don’t plant trees for us, we plant them for our grandchildren. I do what I do for my daughters’ kids and hope to raise a little girl that does the same.

Published by Lissie

Artist, dreamer, doer. Mother and wife. Environmentalist and inspired idealist. Making in the Big Easy.

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