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PUSD Student Highlights Lessons Learned.....

Tuesday’s meeting reflection

I was very upset to wake up to no power and a dead phone yesterday morning but I was very thankful for the opportunity to still be able to learn the valuable information through the recording. It was eye opening to see how much information we learn in such little time. First, we briefly touched upon the challenges of composting, such as family, then proceeded to do a poll to review the videos we’ve watched during our training. So far, we have watched TheStory of Stuff, a landfill video, the Frontline: Plastic Wars documentary, how to build your own compost bin, 6 different ways to compost, a 3 chamber micro-bin time lapse video and it’s now up to us to build inventory of more resources like the ones you provided. The next topic was to go over new vocabulary we learned from the composting videos such as, leachate, watering compost, breaking down ingredients helps decomposition, different types of organic material, 30 to 1, etc. For me, learning what leachate was was the most interesting to learn. The way you explained why you chose this method of training showed that you were considerate of different students' situations. By using a 32 gallon container with a lid you, made it easy for students to have economic access to obtaining resources to be successful and making it convenient for beginners such as myself to stay interested in composting. Ella asked an important question which was, “what do we do with the leachate?” and we discussed tumbler systems and why we’re just hand mixing with a pitchfork. The training allows us to learn the basics and the skills of the trade. I don’t have a paper shredder. I just recycle whatever paper waste I have. I think it’s interesting how paper has the ability to absorb or block out nasty odors. Food logs in our binders are called organic logs and they’re for tracking the weight of food waste and the volume of yard waste. The compost monitor tracks odor, ambient temperatures, temperatures of the pile, and vector/critter problems. Every Friday we complete these logs and every Tuesday we will review and analyze them. My thoughts on the shadowing are similar to my colleagues. There were connectivity issues but overall it made us familiar with how we will be composting and how much we should know what we’re doing and why, as well as keep our distance for safety. I’m not sure if I have a quarter inch drill, I have to check with my dad but I’ll let you know as soon as I can. I know for me my family definitely will be a challenge because they can’t even collaborate with me to sort out the trash properly so doing it on my own is a challenge I’m ready to face. The disgust and ick of it is the reason we wear gloves and masks so I’m not too worried about that. Patience is a tough one, but in the grand scheme of things three months is less time than we’ve been in quarantine and it doesn’t feel that long. Managing hot compost is something I’m worried about because it has to be above 100° and less than 160° but with practice makes progress. It’s good that you said rotting is not composting because I thought they were the same thing. The good definitely outweighs the bad because building soil is building a healthier society and environment. The keys to success are oxygen, moisture, monitoring proper mixing, the recipe etc. Chopping food under 3 inches and having about the same size of food scraps is important for the waste to decompose fast at the same rates. It’s also important to preserve food scraps in the refrigerator before composting it. I don’t need to talk to my gardeners because I don’t have any. My father and my brother do the yard maintenance at home so getting dried leaves and grass clippings will be easy, but I don’t have access to wood chips. I do have scissors, a blender, a knife, Tupperware, ziplock bags, to-go plastic containers, food scraps, and a drill.

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