Giving plants and early start

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This week the grade 4/5s and 6/7s from Yaqan Nukiy school went on a double field trip to learn about waste and food.

We spent the morning at the Creston landfill learning about waste diversion. The students learned how this reduces how much material is going to the landfill. Along with recycling, wood waste, metals, yard waste diversion, there is the composting program at the Creston landfill.  They take kitchen waste and some agriculture waste and compost it.  We got to see the piles in various stages of decomposition (and smells).  The long pipes that run down the piles make sure that they are well aerated. Carla, the operator, monitors moisture and temperature to make sure it is composting well.  We also went to the back of the landfill where we saw where the ‘real garbage’ was crushed to save space in the landfill.  The operator talked about the importance of keeping kitchen waste and recycling out of the landfill because we only have so much space before it’s all filled up. The students had no idea where ‘away’ really was until they went on this field trip. They were impressed by all the different waste diversions.

We then went to Morris Flowers Greenhouses to see how they feed into the local food system in Creston.  They led us through many different greenhouses and cold houses where they have plants at the ideal conditions for growth.  We learned how cabbages like to be started a bit cooler, whereas the tomatoes and pepper plants like the warmer greenhouses.  They start many plants for local farmers. They also start veggies for people who have backyard gardens that want to grow some of their own food. The greenhouse growing extends the garden season here and allows people to eat local veggies sooner. 

We also saw their veggie garden out back with a big compost pile beside it.  The students made the connection between the compost piles at the landfill and at Morris Flowers. Both involved air, moisture, temperature and time in decomposing waste into compost.  The students then potted up a tomato/pepper plant to take home and put in their own gardens. The students will have a chance to grow local food and make sure any garden or kitchen waste ends up in the compost!