The gardener cuts the lawns around the church/school campus on Thursdays and dumps some of the grass clippings near the garden compost bin. Every Thursday after school, students move the clippings into plastic tubs that they then dump into the compost bin, filling it to the top. Bacteria fueled by the nitrogen in the grass clippings begin to break down the grass clippings almost immediately producing an alfalfa-like smell and heating the center of the bin up to 150 degrees. Water is an important ingredient in composting and we add water to the compost especially during hot weather. During the week the chemical activity in the compost bin reduces the mass of grass to about one-half of its original size and we are ready to feed the compost bin again.  In addition to adding grass clippings, students monitor the temperature and moisture content of the compost and add water to keep the chemical action going. The web page http://www.ehow.com/how-does_7237999_compost-bin-work_.html describes how a composting works.

This week students removed some of the old corn stalks, cut them into small pieces and added them to the compost bin.