With the beginning of the garden season, how can a gardener’s thoughts not turn to compost? Okay, so maybe your thoughts don’t, but as the days grew warmer, members of the West 104 th Street Garden’s compost committee were ready to start ‘posting as soon as possible.
First, though, the group had to build a new platform for the garden’s double-barreled Mantis composting unit. Alas, its previous platform had fallen into decay. So this spring, the group’s first task was the design, construction and installation of a new footing for the above-ground unit.
The new platform—made of highly durable manmade materials really put the community in community gardening. A number of garden members and neighbors were involved. Long time garden member, Walli Raninger, reached out to Compost Committee Chair, Jean Jaworek, when she learned that nearby Park West Village had decking boards to donate. Frank Grech, of the garden’s maintenance committee, helped truck over the boards, and compost committee member, Dinorah Matias, designed an easy-to- build, attractive, modular platform for the compost operation which provides:
- a secure, low maintenance under strata,
- space for nitrogen-giving “green” collection barrels and
- a container for carbon inputs, the “browns.”
Best of all, the project cost garden members no more than a bit of sweat and $6.50 for a box of set screws to facilitate assembly.
Thanks to all those who participated in the rebuild. In addition to those mentioned, Alan Tenney, Ron Whitlatch, Rob Eberhardt and Bridget Johnston all helped. Here are some pictures to show you how we ‘done’ it.
Hey…Don’t Forget to Compost With Us in 2012!
The West 104 Garden has been actively composting for several years. In 2011 with the aid of a grant from the SWAB, the Solid Waste Advisory Board, the garden was able to begin including non-garden members in its composting operation.
Community members are welcome to donate their “greens,” left over raw vegetable and fruit scraps to the garden’s supply during the garden’s normal open hours posted by the entrance and any time the garden is open. Contributions can be emptied into the drop off barrels near the front of the garden’s eastern lot on West 104th Street between Manhattan Ave. and Central Park West. Just look for Scott the Composting Gnome standing on guard by the drop-off area.
Please note, tomatoes and eggshells are not accepted for composting at the West 104th Street garden. (We have had problems with tomato blight and the shells don’t break down enough.)