MaryJane's Farmgirl Sisterhood

Earning Farmgirl Sisterhood Merit Badges

Garden Gate

3. Gaining Ground

Beginner Level

  • Start a compost heap for your yard. Maintain it for at least three months.

OR

  • Create a worm ranch for in-house composting.
  • Read “The Earth Moved” by Amy Stewart or “Worms Eat My Garbage” by Mary Appelhof. (The book required for this badge is available on loan from MaryJanesFarm; contact library@maryjanesfarm.org.)

Intermediate Level

  • Research types of compost bins and then build a permanent one in your yard. Continue to add to your compost heap and reap the rewards of composted soil to enrich your garden and lawn. Keep track of how many gallons of new black your compost bin gives back to you over the course of a year.
  • Find out if your community has a composting program already in place in conjunction with recycling or waste management and encourage them to do so if they don’t already. Write a letter to the editor about it one way or the other. Think waste reduction and spread your passion for composting by helping another family follow your lead and start a compost heap of their own. Keep checking in with them until they have their first bucket of black gold.

Expert Level

  • Check with your local extension office and recycling depot to see if the Master Composter training course is available in your area. If so, enroll and complete.
  • If not, read the book “Secrets to Great Soil: A Grower’s Guide to Composting, Mulching, and Creating Healthy, Fertile Soil for your Lawn and Garden” by Elizabeth P. Stell. Donate the book to your library and teach a class on composting.

January, 2008 Edition