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3501 New York Ave NE
Washington, DC, 20002
United States


Washington Youth Garden

April Martin


A Record Time Compost Flip: 27 minutes

Today was a steamy but surprisingly not too smelly morning at The Washington Youth Garden.  With the help of a few strong and willing volunteers we aerated both compost piles by moving them fork by fork over a few feet.  Compost needs air, water, and food just like we do to function properly.  No gourmet meals required.  Decomposers (fungus, bacteria, and invertebrates) living in our compost piles enjoy a diet of fallen leaves, shredded cardboard or woodchips (Carbon) mixed with your left over kitchen scraps and grass clippings (Nitrogen) at a ratio of 25:1 (C:N).  Add some air and water and they’ll be moving and eating so fast your pile could heat up to over 140 degrees F, speeding up the decomposition process and killing off perennial weed seeds, disease, and pest eggs. Keep your piles covered with a porous cloth for insulation and to prevent run-off and pat yourself on the back for turning what would have been trash :( into food for your fellow organisms and healthy compost for your garden. 

Thanks to Compost Cab for giving everyone in DC an easy way to compost and bringing food waste to The Youth Garden!