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One of the items on our list of “things to do to be greener” is to construct a compost bin. We already compost…technically speaking. We have a kitchen bin that we dump into a pile in a corner of our property along with our yard waste and ashes. But we’ve never actually collected any compost from this pile, mainly for two reasons: 1) the pile has gotten out of hand and is incredibly hard to turn 2) Foster likes to use it as his personal bathroom. Clearly it is beyond time for a new method. I’ve been researching the many types of bins out there for quite some time, and I’ve decided to go with a three-bin system.

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This will allow us to add to the bins continually and still have ready-to-use compost anytime we need it (after the system gets going). I love the use of lattice and corrugated fiberglass in the one pictured above. The front board panels can be removed for easy access.

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We’re definitely going to build our own so that we can customize it to be exactly what we want. We’ll start with basic plans like this and add features as we see fit. I can’t wait to get started. Seriously, I never thought I’d be so excited about dirt & worms.

On a related note, I’ve been working on a project for a local nature center through one of my classes. They’re starting a library, and our class is helping them write their policies, apply for grants, and purchase and organize books. Right now I’m working with a group that’s putting together a list of recommendations for their children’s area. I’ve never pictured myself as a children’s librarian, but I am having so much fun with this project! So in honor of National Library Week, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite finds about…you guessed it…composting!

Re-Cylces by Michael Elsohn Ross and Gustav Moore

This book describes the process of decomposition and the water cycle. It also tells readers how to compost plant waste to create food for their gardens. It is appropriate for children in first through third grade.

A Handful of Dirt by Raymond Bial

This close-up look at dirt and the many and varied creatures that make their home in it will cause children to take a second look at the dirt in their own backyards. Also included are instructions for creating a compost heap. This title is appropriate for children in third through sixth grade.

Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth by Mary McKenna Siddals and Ashley Wolff

This rhyming recipe for creating compost provides young readers with an introduction to environmental education. Beginning with apple cores and ending with zinnias, the text highlights one item per letter that makes a great addition to a healthy compost pile. It also includes an explanation for some of the more obscure items listed. This title is appropriate for children in Preschool through third grade.

Go and check one out today!

**I actually wrote this last week, but just realized today that it never published. I’m not sure what the deal was, but I’m sharing it with you now!**

Spring is here! And not a moment too soon. The weather has been absolutely gorgeous here lately, and I am loving every minute of it. I’ve been spending as much time as possible outdoors. We’ve started some of our yard work, preparing the beds, clearing leftover leaves and twigs from the lawn, trimming some trees and bushes. Our yard can be a little overwhelming at times, and the growing things, both wanted and unwanted, can very quickly get out of hand. So we’re starting earlier this year and hoping that we’ll do a better job of managing everything than we did last year.

April is also the month when I usually assess our “green” status. I think about areas where we may have slipped over the year and new things we could be doing to live more earth-friendly. It’s been on my mind a lot lately, and it’s something I’m hoping to share with you over the next few weeks. Maybe together we can learn and grow, becoming more conscious of how our actions affect the earth. Would you like that?

In the mean time I wanted to share a site and store I recently stumbled upon. It’s called The Victory Garden of Tomorrow, and it’s an art project created by Joe Wirtheim. Here’s what it says on his website:

“VGoT is an art project posing as a propaganda campaign for new, American homefront values. The message style draws from American mid-century homefront propaganda, and the messages essentially draws from 21st century needs as found in the current environmental sustainability movement. The campaign is designed to access America’s history of ingenuity to overcome adversity, and apply those values to fighting modern problems.”

Very cool idea, and amazing results! I’m thinking a set of four would look great in my kitchen. See more of the available prints in Joe’s shop.

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