Eggs, Bananas and Coffee!
- Students will be able to describe the process of nutrient recapture.
Teach the Teacher
- From Table to Garden: Using Food Scraps in the Garden
- Composting for the Homeowner (University of Illinois Extension)
Tools & Materials
- Kitchen scraps
- Hand trowel or shovel
- Soil testing kit
Food waste represents about half of all waste that finds its way into the landfill. These scraps are heavy contributors to methane production that problematically escapes the process. In the US, we toss more food than you can imagine. Think of all those lost nutrients.
We are clearly in need of a way to alleviate the pressure that landfills face. Wouldn’t it be a bonus if we not only kept waste out of the landfill but found a beneficial use for it? Using banana peels, coffee grounds, and like in the garden is far from a solution but it is a start. More importantly, it shifts the thinking on waste and opens the door to more aggressive and effective approaches.
So start the conversation in your Lab by trench composting an area of a raised planter or outside garden bed. Test the soil before and after the process to see if there is a beneficial impact on the nutrient profile of the soil. Use your hands and observation to determine if the composted scraps improved the soil texture as well.
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