Sunday, October 07, 2007

Back to Highschool - Composting 101

As part of the Master Gardener commitment to continuing education, this year I have decided to learn more about composting and how to bring this knowledge to the general urban community. So I am back to High School for a few Saturdays. The Chicago High School for Agricultural Science


The first class mostly concerned teaching effective presentation methods and basic compost science. Next weekend we tackle hands on compost making and the various compost bins available to buy or that can be made ourselves. We will be covering worm composting at some point and I have already been assigned,along with a partner, to a presentation on compost trouble shooting. Wish me luck, I have always been terrible at this part. Out at events I am comfortable with people asking questions and repeatedly giving out information but in front of a class of peers I get very nervous.

During a half hour lunch break I decided to walk around and take a few pictures. I liked the design sense of these young students.

This is the equipment road back the 75 acre field used by the students.

Here is the farmstand students run during the season. Sign in the window says you can get a cup of Starbucks coffee inside! This is not like the highschool I attended.

Remember this is Chicago. Click on photo for larger image to see CTA bus in the background.

How great to have a class where you can learn to handle this kind of equipment.

Next week look for pictures of the class making compost and of the various compost bins . After class maybe they will let me in the greenhouse to see what is going on in there.


Blogger Dirty Knees said...

Good for you for going back to school to learn about composting. I agree that this school looks very different from the one I went to too. ;-)

10/10/07 7:42 PM  
Blogger Annie in Austin said...

Hi Gloria,

Some relatives live not too far away, so I've seen the HS from the outside - thanks for the look at what goes on at the school!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

BTW - did you see the latest post by Pam/Digging? She was in Chicago for the Marathon, and was at your Lurie garden!

12/10/07 2:54 PM  
Blogger Ed Bruske said...

I'm originally from the Chicago area, Gloria, and wish we had a program like this in Washinton, D.C. I started lecturing about composting after graduating from the local Master Gardener program and put together a Powerpoint slide show that traces man's quest for nitrogen, leading to industrial agriculture. The story is pretty gripping when you talk about the individuals and economic imperatives involved, and the devastation that artifical fertilizers and agri-business have wrought, versus the natural methods that man had been living with for the previous 10,000 years. Please keep me posted on your progress, or let me know if I can help.

12/10/07 7:51 PM  
Blogger Gloria said...

Hi Dirty Knees, it has been fun so far. Do you compost?

Annie, Thanks for the mention about Digging. She always has such great photo's. It is fun to see visitor's pictures.
Did you notice I have added a link in the sidebar to a few of the pictures I have taken?

Ed, each of us is assigned to a different aspect of composting. My partner and I are doing troubleshooting problems with existing compost. Like smells or so dry ash flys when you turn the compost. That sort of thing.
Thanks for the offer of help. We just may do ok. Glad you stopped by, I check out your blog all the time...

15/10/07 3:25 PM  

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