Summer is such a great time to make compost! With the warm weather in full swing, all the summer veggie scraps from Flatbush Farm CSA members and kitchen waste from the Flatbush Reformed Church’s meal program have been sizzling in our bins.
We were wondering exactly how hot the compost piles really were, so we decided to put our guesses aside and put a compost thermometer to use. Maintaining high temperatures is critical for composting quickly, and this 19” stainless steel probe makes it easy to monitor the temperatures at the center of our piles; turns out they are averaging 140 degrees Fahrenheit, and 160 degrees Fahrenheit at peak. Since bacterias work best at 120 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit, we could easily tell when the compost needed more oxygen or when it was cooling down, and ensure that bacteria are working at optimal temperatures, saving us from doing unnecessary turning.
As much as our compost has been active this summer, so have we! So far we’ve:
- * Kept over 3000 pounds of food waste out of the landfill while creating healthy soil for our gardening projects
- * Spread lots of beautiful mulch around the Flatbush Reformed Church property to renew its damaged soil
- * Used compost to grow awesome healthy herbs and veggies for the church’s Bread for the Journey meal program
- * Provided compost and mulch for Plant the Plaza, our green space project in partnership with Cortelyou Library Friends
- * Hosted visiting youth groups and given workshops and education on waste management
Come check out our garden projects and join us for compost work during any open hours on Wednesdays 5:30 – 8pm and Saturdays 11am – 1pm. If you’d like to become a member of the Compost Team, please contact Kady (at) sustainableflatbush.org.
Be sure to visit us on Saturday August 18th for a FREE community meal, where we continue our theme of Healthy Eating on a Budget – using summer foods.