Resource Library

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Backyard Composing

Soil Cycle offers Backyard Composting Workshops to teach individuals the basics of starting and managing their own compost system.

Picking a System

We have designed a composting flow chart to help you decide the best composting system for you.

Active Compost

Hot or active composing is the process of managing your compost pile's carbon to nitrogen ratio, temperature, moisture and turning schedule more closely. Hot composting produces a finer finished product faster, can break down compostable-ware better, and can kill weed seeds and other pathogens

Passive Compost

Passive composing is the slow decomposition process that is mediated by fungi, worms, and other natural decomposers. It might be slow, but it takes minimal effort. There are multiple approaches to passive composting including: compost rings, trenching, closed-lid bins, and large piles. 

 
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Indoor Composing

Soil Cycle offers Vermicompost Workshops to teach individuals the basics of starting and managing their own worm compost system.

You can also contact us to recieve a tour of our worm composting system.

Vermicompost

Using worms to help you break down organic matter can be done in a variety of systems. Worms need air-flow, moisture, and bedding materials but they create incredible natural fertilizer.

Bokashi

Bokashi composting is an anaerobic process that relies on inoculated bran to ferment kitchen waste. Bokashi bins can process veggies, meat, and dairy safety leaving you with nutrient-rich scraps that can be buried or added to a compost pile.

Stealth Bins

For individuals who are limited by space, finances, or hypercritical neighbors, the stealth bin provides a way to compost at home! Cornell Composting provides a simple how-to guide.

 
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Sustainable Gardening

Demonstration Garden

Soil Cycle's demonstration garden showcases permaculture techniques and focuses on medicinal, edible, and native plants. We have compiled information both from Soil Cycle and from other local organizations.

Using Compost

Building your own compost and soil is both rewarding and incredible for the Earth. We have compiled some sources of how to use compost in your yard and garden.

  • Springtime gardening

  • Garden boxes

  • Topdressing Lawns

  • Preparation for Winter

 

Wildlife Habitat

Through a partnership with the National Wildlife Federation we teach gardening for wildlife. Keeping water, shelter, food, and pollinators in mind provides space for both humans and nonhuman species to thrive. 

 
Image by Jelleke Vanooteghem

Education for Kids

Sustainable Gardening

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Vegetables

Understanding Food Waste

In the United States, over one-third of all available food goes uneaten through loss or waste. Food waste is a major issue that happens at all levels of the food system. Reducing food waste can impact climate change, soil health, food security, and landfilling issues. There are many wonderful resources available that explain this issue in greater depth and offer tools to help. Here is just an overview.

Agricultural

Food takes many precious resources to grow and is "wasted" at every level of the food system. Agricultural food waste happens for a few major reasons:

Cosmetically Imperfections

Low Prices

Labor Shortages

Unpredictable Conditions

Overproduction

Distribution Challenges

Commercial

Once food has left the farm, it is often wasted in the distribution process, at stores, and in restaurants. When your businesses relies on food, food waste becomes both a financial and environmental concern.

Businesses can reduce waste by:

 Increasing Inventory Management

Work Closer with Producers

Track Food Waste

Donate Food

Residential

USDA estimates of 31% of food waste happens at the retail and consumer levels. This added up to approximately 133 billion pounds and $161 billion worth of food. To help reduce food waste: 

Buy with Meals in Mind

Love Leftovers

Freeze Excess

Store Food Correctly

Get Creative with Scraps

Compost the Rest; 

Sign Up for Collection Services

Environmental 

Impact

When organic materials, like food go to the landfill, they get buried (often in plastic containers) and anaerobically decompose extremely slowly. When food decomposes this way it releases methane, a greenhouse gas 25x more harmful than carbon dioxide. Eliminating food scraps from landfills would be equivalent of removing 20% of all the cars in the country from the road.

EPA

NRDC

ReFED

Move for Hunger 

 
Image by Elaine Casap

Backyard Composting

This workshop provided by Caitlyn Lewis and Alison Coluccio of Soil Cycle explains the basics of starting your own backyard compost system and the simple Chemistry behind it. They go over why composting is critical for the Earth and your garden and explain the different types of compost systems.

Medicinal and Edible Plants

Therese “Trez” Robbins, Garden Manager at Soil Cycle and Herbalist of Heart Beet Herbal Remedies leads you on a walk through the vibrant demonstration garden at Soil Cycle. With over 35 plant species on site, there are plenty of medicinal and edible plants to identify and discuss. 

Composting with Worms

Vermicomposting, or composting with worms is a great way to start processing your kitchen scraps. If you have kiddos, or are a little bit of a kid yourself, playing in the dirt with worms helps build excitement about the natural process of organic decomposition. This workshop goes over setting up a worm bin, maintenance, and harvesting worm castings.

Cooking with Herbs

Herbs!!! 

 

Soil Cycle

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