Composting with Students

Below is our co-founder, Pei’s learning experience in composting food waste together with secondary students from St George Girl School Nature Society. The workshop was conducted by organic farmers, Alicia and Mei Shy. Their farm is located in AgroTourism Center, Relau, named Wonder Wilderfarm. Their farm is about 1.5 acres. They plant 20 crops and practice crop rotation. 

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This morning, I am glad to be invited by farmers to join them for a composting workshop conducted at St George Girl School. I have attended composting workshops before but the workshop conducted by Alicia and Mei Shy is the most detailed one with better and easy scientific explanation.

“The purpose of composting is for minimize waste at farm and household. It turns waste to valuable stuff for organic farming,” Alicia explained. I totally agree with her the benefit of composting is good in the way to turn organic garbage to something valuable. As the need for garbage dumps are on the rise and tell me who wants to live near garbage dump?

Alicia further described the key element for composting process are oxygen, moisture and temperature. She said:”Malaysia is an ideal place to do composting for 365 days because we have sunlight and warm temperature everyday.”

Consider most Penangites stay at apartment and land is scarce. To be practical, she taught the students and teachers basket compost.

First, the students took turn to drill holes at each plastic containers.

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Next, Alicia demonstrated to arrange wood branches into the container as first layer of the basket for aeration purpose. Then, the students followed.

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After that, we put soil. Alicia said:”Soil contains bacteria and would help in composting process.”

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Then we layered the soil with dried leaves and grass which are carbon material. Carbon helps in absorb smell and for aeration.

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Next layer would be food waste which is nitrogen content. Nitrogen producing smell such as ammonia to the compost. Alicia further described:” Always put nitrogen (food waste) on top of carbon (dried leaves and grass) to absorb the smell. ”

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After 2 layers or more have done. The last layer would be soil to cover the food waste. “Let the soil covered the food waste so that flies would no have chance to lay eggs on your compost.” she said.

Lastly cover the basket with lid but do not seal it properly. This is for air flow in the basket for aerobic process to happen and carry out composting  and put the basket at shielded area. Turn the compost from the basket to B basket then put back to the original basket for every 10 days. The first layer (wood branches) remains untouched. When you see earthworm from the compost means that your compost is ready to use.

Are you ready to try composting at home? 🙂





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