Composting at MAP

By: Eh Soe, Law A and Sam K

Our compost pile is located at MAP's farm on Massachusetts Avenue. The compost pile this fall is big because we have put many greens in it, including leaves, plant bits, fruits, bark and wood. Our compost pile is really messy, but it doesn't smell much. We have seen centipedes, worms, spiders, potato bugs and other insects in the compost pile.

There are many reasons why we compost. We compost on our farm because: it helps the farmer to save money, it makes the soil healthy by recycling plant material that we don't use and it makes us happy!

As you can see, we do all this work by hand. If we had a machine it would be a lot easier, but not as much fun!

We try to add plant material to the compost pile in a certain ratio: 75% brown matter and 25% green matter. The brown matter is high in carbon, and green matter is high in nitrogen. Nitrogen is an essential nutrient for plants.

It is important to turn the compost every two weeks or the plant matter won't turn into soil. Sometimes we add water to the compost pile so it doesn't dry out. Water helps the plants break down. Also, the insects inside the compost pile need water, and air, to survive. When the compost is done it will be healthy soil and ready to grow plants in.

The post was written by the following MAP youth:

Eh Soe is a senior at Riverside High School

Law recently moved to Buffalo, and has been working at MAP since the summer. This year he has learned about composting.

Samiyah, or "Sam," is interested in growing practices and the biomedical implications of food, and she hopes to be a holistic medical care provider someday.

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