Composting is always occurring naturally in our forests under leaves and twigs. It is a way of converting biodegradable , organic waste into a product called humus, a fertile soil excellent for gardening or landscaping. Composting reduces the amount of waste needing to be landfilled and can instill a sense of environmental stewardship in students. For a more in depth explanation of composting visit Humus on the Treeture web site.
Growing With Compost
To provide students with the understanding of the benefits of composting.
Use the Treeture, Stomper, as a guide, icon or symbol to help animate and enhance your tree root lesson. Stomper is a Compost Master who helps collect and direct junk leaves and debris to trees so "tree food" can be provided. Since Stomper is such a master at finding ingredients in his forest home to compost, test your knowledge about things you can compost in your own homes by completing the worksheet at the end of this lesson.To learn why Stomper does this very important job, you will grow beans or flowers in your classroom using two different soil types: one from a section of school ground with little or no plant life and one rich with organic material (potting soil with humus or soil with compost from the lesson in the Humus section of this web site).Plant seeds (follow instructions on the seed packet) in the soil sample from the school grounds and label the pot. Plant seeds (follow instructions on the seed packet) in the soil sample with the organic material and label the pot. Place your pots next to one another in a sunny window and keep the soils moist. Chart the growth of the plants to see if you can determine the benefits of gardening with organic materials.*Visit Humus and Mud Meister for more ideas and resources.
- Create a poster using Stomper to encourage others to begin composting organic materials rather than throwing them in the trash. Be sure to include examples of things that could be easily composted around school and home.
Get Composting Worksheet