Today we thought we would take a moment and highlight our star food scrap, the banana peel. From our experience, at least half the buckets we collect have these suckers in ’em at any given time. Why, oh why, you may ponder, is this important?
Did you know that 25% of peels are thrown into landfills, resulting in the emission of methane, a harmful greenhouse gas? Americans eat 304 bananas every second – 12% of a banana’s weight is it’s peel, meaning over 780 million pounds of peels per year are on their way to the landfill to release over 740 million pounds of harmful GHGs.
Fortunately our savvy Bootstrap compost warriors are making a big dent right here in Boston. But how many of us know what else we can do with our peels, in addition to composting? Check out this awesome info-graphic, created by Sustainable America, to find out the many uses of a banana peel.
And watch this 3 minute video to learn how to make banana peel fertilizer!
For this week’s edition of Compost Round Up, we thought we’d delve into the wonders of Compost Tea. It came up briefly at a recent Bootstrap team meeting and we thought it was worth expanding on. And given that Compost Week! just ended, here’s a way to stretch your supply of black gold. Without further ado, let’s learn the basic ins-and-outs:
What is compost tea?
It is the liquid extract of compost that contains plant growth compounds and beneficial microorganisms. It is NOT leachate, the dark-colored solution that leaks out of the compost pile, or the juice found in worm bins.
Why compost tea?
The healthy bacteria and fungus in compost tea protects plants from diseases. It can add key plant nutrients and microbes to soil without adding bulk (good for rooftop, balcony or container gardening). Compost tea is a way to maximize your compost resources to perform a more widespread application.
How do I make it?
Here is video making compost tea with equipment (pump, hose, etc):
Don’t have equipment? Not to worry, here’s a method for you:
How is it applied?
Compost tea can be applied once a week to the leaves or root zones of plants with a pump sprayer or watering can, ideally within two hours of the brewing process.
Each week, Bootstrap Compost will be publishing the Compost Round Up. The Round Up will be a weekly serving of compost news from Boston and beyond. It is our hope that these articles, essays, videos and studies will further our knowledge about composting, including terminology, its public perception, its challenges, and its evolution.
The Mighty 3-Tiered Compost System
For our first Compost Round Up, we’ve selected a short video documenting the construction of a three-tiered composting system made from palettes. While it’s not necessarily the best instructional video, the end product is far and away the best looking example of this type of structure we’ve seen among the countless videos on this topic.
Meanwhile, the main reason we selected this subject is because Bootstrap spearheaded a similar design at the Harvard Community Garden last summer. It’s our donation, of sorts, to the Harvard Farmer’s Market for hosting BSC all summer long as a (free) vendor.
We encourage you to watch the related videos on the YouTube sidebar (and there are, surprise, a lot of them). But again, what struck us most about this video was the simplicity, affordability, and functionality of this particular finished system.