Learning how to compost was one of the very first tasks I took on when we moved into our big-yard house. Not only is it satisfying to create our own nutritious mulch for the vegetables and flowers, but it is also ecologically and economically sound. At first the kids held their noses and complained, but eventually they succumbed to the earthy pleasures of composting.
Herman is a red worm that lives in a bin and eats his weight in garbage every day. Of course not just any garbage, but specifically fruit, vegetables, tea bags, egg shells, newspapers and coffee grounds. And as he eats, he leaves behind valuable castings that can be used as fertilizer in your garden. Learn all about him and his cousin the earthworm, and how to build a worm bin at home or your in your classroom.
Kids (and parents too!) can learn composting basics in this simple slide presentation. Although the slide show completely skips over what kind of container to use, it excels at explaining how your compost recipe must include both brown stuff (dead leaves or newspapers for carbon) and green stuff (grass clippings or food scraps for nitrogen.) Best pages are those that show which commonly composted items contain the highest amounts of carbon and nitrogen.
Composting offers something for all ages. Elementary students will be fascinated by tactile experience, and teens can research the biology, chemistry, and physics of composting. Best clicks are those related to the science of composting: ideas for research projects, composting experiments and background information on microbes and invertebrates. Don't be fooled by the title of this site. It offers plenty to those interested in composting no matter where they do it. Got a problem with an existing compost? Take a look at the Troubleshooting Guide listed under Composting Outdoors.
How to Make Compost delivers exactly what it promises: two illustrated recipes for making hot and cool compost piles, as well as fact sheets on building or buying a compost bin. Hot composting will produce compost faster than cold composting, but does require more attention. Choose between them based on how much time you have to devote to your pile, and how soon you want results.
Wendell the Worm is the host for "yuckiest site on the Internet." In Worm World he explains the worm's role in recycling dead plants. Highlights are the instructions on constructing a worm bin from plywood and the interview with Mary the Worm Woman. Mary is not a cartoon figure (like Wendell) but the author of "Worms Eat My Garbage." You can read the transcript, listen to an audio snippet, and view a video of Mary in her worm bin.