People, People, People… and Compost

People, People, People… and Compost

50 Alternative Spring Break trip leaders from the University of Maryland came out to the farm this Saturday! We got so much work done, mainly hanging tons of pots in hoophouses number 2 and 3. Here’s the lovely group of folk:
Alternative Spring Break Trip Leaders

Pots
Some of the pots we filled.

Mixing Compost and Coir
Mixing the compost with coir (shredded coconut skins) to make the potting mix more absorbent. We used a 2-1 (compost-coir) ratio for the pots. The students really got into the soil!

Filling Pots
Attaching hangers to the pots so that they can be hung vertically in two rows, maximizing the use of space in the hoophouses.

UMD Students on a Tour of the farm
Christian Melendez (our farm manager and volunteer coordinator) explaining some fine points of beekeeping during the tour of the farm for the UMD students.

More Pots and Peeps
Rows of people among the rows of pots in the hoophouses.

Dr Amir Abtahi digging trenches
A few of the guys helped Dr. Amir Abtahi (a solar specialist and Engaged Community Offshoots board member) shovel out trenches that will be used to get electricity and water to the hoophouses.

Shoveling Trenches

Margaret and Adam Ortiz, Mayor of Edmonston!
Margaret Morgan-Hubbard (Engaged Community Offshoots CEO) and Adam Ortiz (Edmonston’s Mayor, it’s always so great when he visits!) speaking with the students. Edmonston is really moving forward in becoming a green community, building a Green Street – the first of it’s kind! – addressing flooding, stormwater runoff, energy efficient lighting, restoration of native tree species, etc.

Urban Commercial Agriculture Class
Prince George’s Community College’s Urban Commercial Agriculture class was also at the farm, learning about composting. They are now in their fourth week. For part two of composting they’ll visit our composting facility at Cherry Hill Rd., just a few minutes away. Here are some pictures of them mixing “green” material (discarded fruits and veggies from the grocery store, which are high in nitrogen) with “brown” material (woodchips and landscaping refuse, high in carbon).  The class learned how to build and fill compost bins, how to manage compost, how to compost with worms, and how to make compost tea.
Mid-throw!
Here are class is learning to build a pile from food waste and wood chips.

More Compost!

Colorful Compost

A few of UMD’s Terps for Change students also visited the farm this Saturday. Terps for Change is a program through which students commit to a few hours of community service each week. Next Saturday is when the group officially starts volunteering at ECOffshoots, we’re grateful that they’ll be helping us through the spring. Please come and join us!

Thank you for everyone’s help at the farm! We really appreciate it and hope to see all of you again soon!

A quote to contemplate:
“Nothing leads to good that is not natural.” – Friedrich Schiller

Peace and Carrots,
Natalya and the ECOCrew

About the Author

CEO, ECO City Farms