As we work to Restore God’s Earth, the amount of compostable material donated to Nativity from church members has increased significantly. I am aware that the bin we use for new material is full again. I will address that situation this week. (Perhaps when it warms up a little).

With the new green bin provided by Rene, we will have a 3 step process for producing compost. I will label the 3 bins to make the process clearer.

We will continue using the round black bin on the right for new material. On a regular basis, we will need to add brown material (such as ground up leaves) to the first bin to maintain a balance between green and brown material. (Source: I am shredding leaves at home). Nearly completely composted material will be removed from the bottom of the first bin and placed into the other round black bin. If not sufficiently composted, some of that material may be recycled to the top of the first bin for another pass.

Material removed from the bottom of the second bin will be stored in the new green bin. That material will be ready for gardeners to apply to their gardens. I will put a hard surface under the green bin to keep weeds from growing into it. Without a barrier between the bottom of the bins and the ground, we have had a problem with wire grass growing into the compost bins.

When adding new material to the first bin, please refrain from adding vegetation (weeds) with seeds pulled from garden beds or sticks or woody material (scatter that material in the woods). Woody material does not compost readily, makes it difficult to “turn over” and mix what is in the bins, and as that material degrades, it consumes nitrogen. Also, please don’t add compostable material in plastic bags unless you know the bags are biodegradable. Even though some materials are labeled as compostable that does not mean they will degrade by using a backyard composting process. They may just be compostable using a commercial process. (Sorry this is so complicated).

Another way that you can help the composting process along is to cut or chop up vegetation before adding it to the first bin. It composts much more quickly that way.

I thank you all for participating in this adventure, and I hope that you all share with me the tremendous satisfaction in knowing that Nativity is doing our part in caring for God’s wonderful creation. In nature, except for humans, everything is recycled. We can be in harmony with the rest of creation. And, by sharing the fruits of our labor from the Nativity Community Garden, we are caring for our neighbors while helping to build sustainability in our community.