Saturday, 25 February 2012

The Rubbish Diet, Wk 5: A cold, compost & Master Composters

It's a good job this week's topic was garden related, because I've spent much of the week thinking about how much compost I've been creating.

And trust me, I've been creating loads, mainly of the citrus peel variety.  All because I came down with a cruddy cold on Monday and I've been busy fighting it with, amongst other things, some decent doses of vitamin C.

Citrus peel is one of the many items that you can add to a compost heap.  However, unlike my lazy approach, advice is that chopping or tearing it up into smaller pieces will help it compost better.  But frankly, this week, I've only had the attention span of a gnat to dedicate to my composting abilities, so I'm certainly going to need to balance out the contents with some other material soon.

Composting has been on other people's minds this week.  Joanna Boardman, aka Rubbish Geek, will at last be able to use her new compost bins to help her with her Rubbish Diet and during a Skype session on Monday, Amy Marpman, one of our Rubbish Diet 8, was a lot more confident to give composting a go, and was looking forward to getting advice from a local organisation over in New York.

And that reminded me of a national scheme, which we have here in the UK, thanks to the network of Master Composters.

Master Composters are volunteers who are trained by Garden Organic to help raise awareness of composting skills in local communities. They give demonstrations at events and can also run sessions at schools, as well as publish advice in local magazines and newsletters. 

If you've been inspired to try your hands at home composting this week, but are not sure how to start, a good step would be to to get in touch with your local volunteers, either via your council or through the network coordinators in your area. 

Alternatively, you may already be experienced in the ways of composting and you might fancy signing up.  Training is free and you can expect to spend around 30 hours a year helping your local community. More information can be found at Garden Organic's Home Composting website.

And the highlight of the composting calendar year is Compost Awareness Week, which this year takes place between 6-12 May.  Do check out Garden Organic's Poster & Painted Bin competition to see how your family or school could join in.

In the meantime, here's another use for that fruit peel, before it even gets to the compost bin.  It fits in very nicely with this week's theme, for anyone who's thinking of planting up some seedlings.


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