Compost 101

graph showing pounds of waste diverted from landfill in 2019 at the nature center

Let’s talk compost.

It’s an easy way to divert unnecessary waste from the landfill and turn it into fertile ground to grow MORE food, or fertilize any sort of garden! The plants love it, the planet loves it, and soon, you will too. 

At the Warner Park Nature Center, we make our own special blend of compost to use in our greenhouse and organic garden. The basic recipe is: 

  1. Carbon: dry materials like leaves, straw, dried weeds and grass, etc.
  2. Nitrogen: wet materials like fresh grass clippings, fresh weeds, manure, kitchen

scraps (no meat, fat, oil, or processed food), etc.

  1. Soil: the “starter” that introduces all the living organisms that will do the decomposing.
  2. Water: add as you layer and build the pile, and later as necessary
  3. Air: needed by the organisms so they can do their job

If you’re building your compost pile on the ground, ingredients 3-5 are already in place, and you simply add your uncooked foods, leaves, and yard clippings, periodically turn it with a shovel, and you’re off to the races! If you buy an enclosed container, just remember to add a little water on occasion and a small amount of soil to activate the process. 

Organic v. Industrial Composting

But that’s not all we’re able to keep out of the landfills. We also contract with Compost Nashville to dispose of all industrial waste at FOWP Headquarters, The Warner Park Nature Center, our Hummingbird Happy Hour event and more. Industrial waste includes cooked (or uncooked) food, bones, meat, paper plates, paper towels, and compostable plasticware.

In 2019, we diverted 409 lbs of unnecessary waste from the landfill! Compost Nashville gives a portion of their compost to each customer, and also shares their luscious soil with local farmers and community gardens. It’s all about that multifaceted reduction of our carbon footprint, and we thank Compost Nashville for the work they do with us and throughout the community. 

Our composting efforts are but one of the many ways we seek to be an environmentally conscious facility, organization, and community leader. Find out more about the exciting opportunities ahead thanks to our Living Building Design Award, and don’t hesitate to start your own compost pile today. It’s incredibly gratifying, we tell ya!

To learn more about lending a hand in our organic garden and other volunteer opportunities, click here. 

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