Have you considered composting before, but aren’t sure how to start? If you want to learn about different methods of composting and which one is right for you, join us for a free Zoom workshop on Thursday, Oct. 1, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Learn how to tend a traditional outdoor compost pile, how to use a tumbling composter, how to compost indoors with worms, and where to drop off your food scraps if you wish to have someone else do the dirty work for you!
Six participants will win a tumbling composter, and each participant will get a free countertop food scrap collection bin. Only residents of Delaware County are eligible to receive these prizes. Since this is a virtual workshop, attendees will have to pick up countertop bins from the Delaware Soil and Water Conservation District office at 557-A Sunbury Road in Delaware.
Pick-up times for the collection bins will be Monday through Friday (Oct. 2-13) from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Pick-up times for the tumbling composters have yet to be determined. For more information, call 740-368-1921.
The Oct. 1 workshop is a collaborative effort between Delaware, Knox, Marion, Morrow (DKMM) Solid Waste District, Keep Delaware County Beautiful, Delaware General Health District (DGHD), Price Farms Organics, Ltd., and the Delaware Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD).
Price Farms Organics will explain how to drop off your food scraps and yard trimmings at its Ohio EPA Certified Class II composting facility here in Delaware County. You may also hear about some of the business’ compost products available for purchase. They have served as the official composting facility of the DKMM Solid Waste District since 1997. In addition, this family operation has gained recognition in recent years for composting 95% of the waste from Ohio Stadium, making the Shoe the largest “no-waste” stadium in the U.S. Price Farms Organics also composts manure from the Columbus Zoo, and if you hit them at the right season, you can buy its final compost products, Stadium Scarlet and Zoo Brew (neither is currently available).
Keep Delaware County Beautiful Coordinator and DGHD Community Health Specialist Jenifer Way-Young will talk about the basics of traditional outdoor composting as well as indoor worm composting or vermicomposting. Both Way-Young and DSWCD Outreach Coordinator Erin Wolfe will share how-to videos and pictures of these methods to help take the guesswork out of these activities. All of the partners in this workshop hope to show you that composting should not be intimidating and is truly a simple process.
The benefits of composting are numerous! Not only do you get all the warm, fuzzy, guilt-free feelings from diverting your trash from a landfill, but you also get a free product from it. Compost acts as a nutrient-rich, organic, all-natural fertilizer. Other advantages may include:
• Increased moisture retention in your soil
• Improved soil structure
• Decreased soil erosion
• Healthier plants
• Reduced need for chemical fertilizers
• Lowered contribution to harmful algal blooms in ponds, lakes, rivers, etc.
• Reduced diseases from pests and fungus
What is it that makes compost so nutritional for your garden? Good bacteria, fungi, and insects that shred, eat, and excrete dead leaves, plants, and everything else you throw in your pile! They take your waste and turn it into gold. The proper word for this is humus, which is not a delicious chickpea spread, rather it is a deep-brown, organic material rich in color and nutrients.
When it comes to compost enclosures, there are several types that suit a variety of living situations. If you are interested in creating your own composter, you can learn how from the video tutorials seen here: https://www.treehugger.com/diy-compost-bins-you-can-build-one-day-video-4858394. While we explain how to do the composting process, we will not have time to focus on making a bin or enclosure in this workshop.
Composting is a win-win for everyone involved. To sign up for this free virtual event, please visit our website for the Zoom registration link. The workshop will be recorded for viewing from our website after it takes place. Everyone is welcome, however only those Delaware County residents who attend the live event and complete the evaluation survey are eligible for prize giveaways. We look forward to seeing you there.
Erin Wolfe is outreach coordinator of the Delaware Soil & Water Conservation District. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.