Compost Happens! Free Workshop Saturday, July 8

Home composting of yard waste and select kitchen waste takes materials that could wind up in a landfill and converts it into compost, a useful product for our South Florida gardens. It also avoids the energy and carbon emissions associated with transportation of this material to a centralized final disposal site. Anything that was a plant can be composted.

Want to learn how to compost? Master Gardener Terri Stephen will teach you how to make organic soil from your own kitchen and yard waste.

University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, in cooperation with Miami-Dade County’s Department of Solid Waste Management hosts FREE home composting workshops throughout the year. Here’s the next one:

When: Saturday, July 8, from 9:00am – 10:30am
Where: Thalatta Estate, 17301 Old Cutler Rd, Palmetto Bay, FL.
RSVP: 305.259.1245

“Learn About Composting” Day

Yes, there really is an annual “National Learn About Composting Day” and it is today. Created in 2011, the originator explained his reasons:

As a Boy Scout leader, this author follows the Boy Scout motto “Reduce, Re-Use, Recycle”. Composting is a great way to re-use a wide range of things that otherwise would go unnecessarily into the waste stream.

Even before that, International Compost Awareness Week (ICAW) was started in Canada in 1995 and is held the first full week in May each year. International Compost Awareness Week and National Learn About Compost Day have the same goal:

… to raise the awareness of the public regarding the benefits of using compost to improve or maintain high quality soil, to grow healthy plants, reduce the use of fertilizer and pesticides, improve water quality and protect the environment.

So in the spirit of learning about composting, consider the humble banana peel and “regenerative loop of life.”.

And if you want to learn more about composting at home, Miami-Dade County in partnership with the University of Florida is giving a FREE workshop on Saturday, July 8 from 9:00am – 10:30am with Master Gardener Terri Stephen at Thalatta Estate, 17301 Old Cutler Rd, Palmetto Bay, FL. Call 305.259.1245 for more information or to RSVP.  “Learn how to make organic soil from your own kitchen and yard waste. Easy and fun and great for your garden.”


“The Compost Story” was produced by Kiss The Ground and Elevate Films. Be sure to visit their site to read about the wonderful work they are doing.

Every School Should Have A Garden

Grow Food Not Lawns - Every School Should Have a Garden

Love this graphic from Grow Food Not Lawns and it reminded me of a Miami Herald article I read earlier this year about Leewood K-8 Center public school in Miami.

Seventh-grade science teacher, Angela Holbrook, started the project with her class August 2012. They planted an organic food garden near their classroom, and students from all grade levels help with the tending and harvesting.

Holbrook taught her students how to irrigate plants by collecting rainwater in barrels and keep pests under control by bringing in ladybugs.

Fenced in using colorful wooden frames, twelve rectangular soil beds house the vegetables and fruits of the class’s labor – tomatoes, strawberries, cabbages, broccoli and several other leafy greens.

Produce from the garden is used in the school’s cafeteria or donated to the local food banks.

So if you agree that every school should have a garden similar to Miami’s Leewood K-8 Center, check out Grow Food Not Lawn’s Facebook page, and “like” the idea.

And if you know of another school in Miami-Dade that has its own food garden, send me an email or comment below. I would love to feature them in future blog posts.

Five Reasons to Compost in Miami-Dade

How_Compost_Happens

1. Composting is easy! As easy as throwing away your garbage, in fact. Simply separate compostable garbage into a separate bin.

2. Composting is saves money! Compost doesn’t require any fancy equipment, but it will save you money by reducing what you spend for fertilizers and potting soils.

3. Composting is good for your garden! Gardens that are composted produce more fruits, vegetables and flowers; and compost contains no petroleum products the way most commercial fertilizers do.

4. Composting is good for the planet! The EPA estimates that about 25% of your household waste is yard trimmings, vegetable scraps and other compostable items. Composting helps reduce our local landfills and emissions from the incinerator plants.

5. Composting is FREE! Compost workshops are being offered by Miami-Dade County, in cooperation with the University of Florida, and taught by a Master Gardener.

Learn how to start and maintain a compost pile to turn your yard waste and food scraps into rich soil this Saturday, February 5th, from 12:00 – 12:30 p.m. at the Coral Gables Farmers Market located at 405 Biltmore Way, Coral Gables, Florida 33134. For more information, contact Lize Luna at 305-248-3311 ext. 242 or Barbara McAdam at ext. 245 or email Barbara at bmcadam@ufl.edu.
A rain barrel workshop immediately follows from 1:00 – 2:00. The rain barrel workshop is free, plus Miami-Dade residents will have an opportunity to purchase a rain barrel for $40. The event also includes a showerhead and light bulb exchange courtesy of Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department. For more information, contact Lize Luna at 305-248-3311 ext. 242 or Barbara McAdam at ext. 245 or email Barbara at bmcadam@ufl.edu.

And for more information about real estate and environmental issues in Miami-Dade, visit my web page at http://www.melanieinmiami.com/