It's not easy being 'Green"....Part 2
"My life as an eco-warrior in the City of Windsor"
I'm not special. I'm not that unique 'special' snow flake floating through the crisp air. I am not the all-singing, all-dancing compost of the universe (thank you Fight Club). I realize that. And, honestly, I don't think I'm an eco-warrior. I know some hardcore eco-folk, and they deserve that title. But some days, among the masses of all-consuming, devouring, never-ending garbage producing citizens of this fine planet, I shake my head. Today was one of those days.
Take, for instance, our fancy 2012 Community Composter in Ford City, built by the fine folks of Dillon Consulting, and our Ford City Community Garden volunteers.
Not only did we have to move the compost bin due to people stealing wood off of it (yes, I am not kidding), not only did we have to rescue it because of coconuts pushing it down the back alley, but tonight we had the honour of investigating what was being put into our fine bin- and restoring it to its original purpose.
What is this mysterious box?
- It is not a recycle station for pop cans and plastic bottles.
- It is not a deposit for medical waste.
- It is not the neighbourhood needle deposit box, although the size may be appropriate some days.
- It is not a place to put your bagged and unsorted garbage.
- It is not a place to put your unwanted items.
- It is not a place to sleep.
- It's not a place for your beer bottles and cans, although we appreciate the donation.
- It's not for cigarette butts, styrofoam cups and plates, grocery bags, insulin pens, or your fast food burger garbage, Tim Horton plastic cups, McDonald's pop cups straws and lids.
TOP - BAD \ BOTTOM-GOOD
It is a Composter Bin to make SOIL.
Clearly, more education is required.
"What we have here is a failure to communicate."
The Ford City Community Garden is proud to offer composting opportunities for its Ford City neighbors. The garden’s compost efforts are managed by a dedicated team of volunteers who work to ensure that the system is safe, healthy, and functional.
If you’re interested in composting but you’ve never done it before, please come to the next monthly meeting to learn more. Becoming a Garden Member helps you to understand the Composting Process.
If you’re currently composting with us, please remember the following Composting Rules:
- Make all drop-offs only into the bin marked OPEN FOR COMPOST at the back of New Song Church, commonly called the 'sand lot'
- Chop your kitchen scraps into three-inch dice and cut your flowers or weeds into pieces that are no longer than six inches.
- Always cover fresh materials with “browns” — sawdust, wood chips, or dried leaves — which are available across the road at Ford City Community Garden.
- Follow the rules on what can and can’t be composted. Rules are clearly posted near the composting bins.
- Take your plastic bags and disposable containers out of the garden after a drop-off. The garden is not equipped to handle trash.
- NEVER leave compost near the gate or the curb or outside the bin. Garden volunteers cannot be responsible for other people’s mess.
Why the rules?
Ford City Community Garden Composting Bins is one of the few on-site raw food composting facilities in Windsor. We accept food scraps at no cost, with no membership requirements, no external funding, and use substantial amounts of all-volunteer labor to produce a finished compost product that stays right here in Brooklyn.
The facility is under the watchful eye of the Ford City Community Garden, The City of Windsor, and discerning noses of our surrounding neighbors and could be shut down at any time if we are found to cause a nuisance with odors or vermin. Although, we have VERMIN-Protected the Bin.
If we break the rules and lose access to local composting, we’ll have nobody to blame but ourselves. Repeat offenders of the following basic rules will lose composting privileges.
STOP & CHOP: NO WHOLE VEGETABLES OF ANY KIND!
Potatoes that go into compost looking like potatoes come out looking like potatoes (and smelling a whole lot worse). So do lemons…and grapefruits…and kiwis…and onions…and eggplants….and carrots…and peppers…and loaves of bread…and (well, you get the idea). Anyone found leaving whole vegetables will be asked to remove them from the bin and thoroughly chop them before being allowed to return the contents to the bin.
At a minimum, fruits & vegetables should be reduced to one quarter of their original size (a half grapefruit doesn’t fare much better than a whole one). This is hard to achieve using the chopping tools on site, so please chop at home as you add material to your scrap bucket.
COVER ME: LEAVE NO FOOD SCRAPS EXPOSED!
After you’ve emptied your (chopped) scraps into the bin, mix the scraps with the existing materials before you fully cover them with an equal amount of browns.
Thank you for taking the time and trouble to compost your kitchen waste. Composting makes a difference, but only if it’s done right. We are always in need of help. It’s a rewarding endeavor and great exercise. If you are interested in joining the team, please contact Steve Green, Garden Coordinator. stevegreen *at* ymail *dot* com.
Ford City Community Garden Coordinator