Composting is a key factor in producing rich healthy soil. Compost adds nutrient-rich humus to the soil which in turn fuels plant growth and restores vitality to depleted soil. It is free, easy to make and of course great for the environment. Here at the FOTO Home Station we have 4 compost piles. In these piles we compost leaves, kitchen scraps and paper. We experimented by making two styles of compost tumblers (one recycled from a Pepsi bin and the other a pickeling barrel). One horizontal and the other vertical. Both work well, but can get heavy to turn if too full. We have found that adding worms to the bins helps helps break down the scraps much quicker. The two piles on the ground need to be rotated with a shovel, but break down much quicker most likely due to the help of worms and other insects.
The Worm Palace
In late March 2016 the Red Wiggler Worms arrived at the FOTO Home Station Garden. Upon their arrival the worms were introduced to their new home, the FOTO Worm Palace. The Palace, made out of plastic bins filled with shredded paper, leaves and dirt, is continuously filled with the richest of compostable food scraps so that the Red Wigglers can create the finest of worm castings (poop)-- Black Gold. Worm casting is the richest natural fertilizer known to humans. As little as a tablespoon of pure worm castings provides enough organic plant nutrients to feed a 6" potted plant for more than two months. These castings stimulate plant growth and are absorbed easily and immediately by plants. The worms will be used to introduce Vermiculture into FOTO’s gardening program.