GARDENING AND COMPOSTING
FACTS AND FIGURES
Growing your own garden can help the environment in many different ways such as:
Growing your own food can reduce packaging and pollution needed when you buy groceries
Growing flowers and other plants can create habitats for wildlife especially birds and insects
Gardening can help clear the air from pollution and create more green spaces
Composting is also important! It reduces the amount of food scraps that ends up wasted in landfill and it also creates nutrient-rich soil to help your gardens grow! Did you know that:
About 50% of the rubbish Australians put in the general waste bin could be composted or put in a worm farm
3% of the greenhouse gases produced is from organic waste in landfills
Worms in a worm farm can eat 2-4 kilograms of organic food waste per week
GARDENING AND COMPOSTING CHALLENGES
FOOD SCRAPS RESTAURANT
A worm farm or compost bin is kind of like a restaurant:
The restaurant has a menu which is the food scraps that can go in the worm farm or compost
The restaurants has waiters that serve the food or in your case - the students who put food scraps in the worm farm/compost
The restaurant has delicious food which is the soil or fertilizer that is produced by your compost/worm farm system.
If your school has a compost bin or worm farm, a fun and creative way to educate your school community on the proper use of the system is to compare it to a restaurant!
STEP 1. PLAN YOUR WORM FARM OR COMPOST SYSTEM
Meet with your EcoMarines crew to discuss your worm farm or compost system!
Depending on your worm farm or compost system, its up to you on if and how you want to regulate it and how to collect food scraps from students.
Here are some ideas:
Have one large food scraps bin per grade
Have a food scraps bin outside classrooms
If you have a small system, collect scraps from one or two grade levels to start out
Have a roster to organise who empties the bins into the compost/worm farm and to organise someone to empty fertliser, soil or castings into school gardens per day/week
STEP 2. PROMOTE ON ASSEMBLY
Advertise your new food scraps system on assembly. You can use the restaurant analogy to help educate your community!
First, it is a good idea to come up with a name for your restaurant, for example "The Compost Cafe".
Then, you can create a 'menu' for your restaurant. This menu should include a list of food scraps that can go into the worm farm or compost. You can find menu templates online or use the menu to the right for inspiration. Print these menu's out and have them near your food scrap collection bins.
Promote your restaurant on assembly, talk about the menu and other 'rules' of the restaurant. You can even dress up as chefs for your assembly presentation. Personalize and print out this chefs hat template below:
STEP 3. CLASSROOM EDUCATION
If you want to enlist more 'staff' for your restaurant, you can always educate students on how to care for and regulate your worm farm or compost system. You could get teachers to sign-up their classes to be restaurant waiters. Create a presentation which you and your EcoMarines team can present to individuals classrooms.
A great idea is to test students on what they have learnt from the presentation. If they pass the test they can obtain their restaurant license! Get creative and design your own restaurant license to print out and hand to students. Then, students can help to collect food scraps, feed the worm farm or compost and help care for the system.
STEP 4. TELL US ABOUT YOUR RESTAURANT
We would love to know about your worm farm or compost restaurant campaign. Send us some photos or a copy of your menu or even your classroom presentation! You can use the submission form below!
EXTRA RESOURCES AND ACTIVITIES
To help with food waste and feeding your garden, why not implement a compost bin or worm farm at your school?
COMPOSTING AND WORM FARMS
Our friends at Griffith University have created an app to help you design a native garden in SouthEast Queensland.
GRONATIVE PLANT APP
GARDENS AND THE CURRICULUM
Native bee hives are a great way to pollinate your school gardens. Check out this resource to see how you can get your own!
NATIVE BEE HIVES
NATIVE PLANTS GUIDE
With Dunwich State School
The amazing ambassadors at Dunwhich State School propagated their own Yalabin (native rasberry plants) and other native plants. They followed the growth of these plants with a photo journal up until they were ready to be sold in a plant sale! They even created a Plant for the Planet Guide that has information about how to propagate plants and what plants are best to propagate. Check it out below. Good job EcoMarines!