Composting is nature’s way of recycling. From banana peels to dirty paper towels, here in San Francisco we can compost lots of stuff. With the Recology industrial composting facility, Jepson Prairie Organics, in Vacaville California, San Franciscans can put useful organic material into the green bin for later reuse on farm fields throughout California.
Composting in schools is an incredible way to capture resources, while cultivating the minds of young environmental leaders. CAN! supports school composting programs by promoting composting in the garden as well as promoting the use of the green cart in the lunch room.
Learning about the various decomposers (creatures like worms, rolly pollys and slugs and snails) that help to break down, digest and poop-out valuable compost is a fun activity for youth of all ages. Of course, fungi and bacteria do their part as well! Worm bins, 3-bin active composting systems and passive systems are all utilized in CAN! educational gardens our our partner schools.
Composting is something that everyone can do right away that greatly supports the climate. Since during the rot process a lot of methane is released, composting in an open-air environment (with lots of Oxygen) helps to keep methane levels lower than if organic material were to enter the landfill. Organic material that makes it to the landfill doesn’t get reused and ends up releasing even more methane into the atmosphere. Since methane is 80 times worse for the climate than Carbon dioxide, composting at home and at school is a wonderful way to support a healthy and resilient climate.
We’re all carbon based life forms. Plants, humans, elephants, bacteria and so on, are all based out of the element of carbon. This fact is incredibly important when considering the capacity of the living soil to capture and store carbon from the atmosphere. This process is called carbon sequestration. Plants capture and store (sequester) carbon as they grow as well, but did you know that the living soil also provides this valuable service?
Climate Action Now! works with public and private communities to remove pavement to expose the living soil. When the soil is exposed, gardeners can work compost and organic matter into the soil, providing food to beneficial bacteria and other decomposers. Those decomposers (like bacteria, worms and rolly pollys) poop out their waste which is actually nutrient-rich compost. Compost is full of carbon (remembering that we’re all carbon-based life forms) and pending healthy soil management, the carbon is captured and stored in the living soil.
From apples to zucchini, we are totally nuts about fruit production! Working closely with school garden educators, school Parent Teacher Student Associations (PTSAs) and the larger community, CAN! is a leader in the field of organics promotions.
All CAN! school partners have vegetables and fruits grown on site. Students participate in the cultivation of organic food in CAN! gardens, promoting healthier eating habits.
Studies have shown that exposure to the full life-cycle of plants (from seed to compost) increases the likelyhood of students’ openness to consume vegetables, which of course promotes general health and well-being.
Organic farmers and gardeners use compost instead of petroleum-based fertilizers. They work with ladybugs and parasitic wasps instead of using chemical pesticides. And they use neem oil and safer soap instead of using petroleum-based herbicides. Join the movement today and dump that RoundUp into your local Hazardous Waste facility.
Your health is your wealth, and although some organic food can cost more money up front, the cost savings come back 10 fold leading to a life full of health for yourself, your farmer and the earth.
Interested in cultivating organic food at your school?
Contact CAN! today.
Contracting with PTAs or other partner non-profits, CAN! offers SFUSD K-8 after school garden program opportunities throughout San Francisco based on PTA and school community interest.
Garden-based after school programs can be scheduled between 5-12 weeks, whatever works best for the given school community.
CAN! charges $200 – $150/session (*pending participation).
Organic snacks provided for an additional $25/classes
Minimum charge: $1,000 (pending student participation)
For more information, contact: ClimateActionNowCA@gmail.com
Fall 2017 Abuzz about Wild California Plants!
From California poppies to the Coast Live Oak, the CAN! Fall 2016 After-School program is all abuzz!
Student participants will make compost, spread mulch, plant California native plants and make seed balls of annual California wildflowers. Participating in horticultural activities on site at your school’s garden, students will meet and learn how to build habitat for worms, rolly pollys, hummingbirds and bumble bees!