MaryJane's Farmgirl Sisterhood

Earning Farmgirl Sisterhood Merit Badges

Garden Gate

3. Gaining Ground


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


  • Create a worm ranch for in-house composting.
  • Read The Earth Moved by Amy Stewart or Worms Eat My Garbage by Mary Appelhof.


  • 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.


  • 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.

(The book required for this badge is available on loan from MaryJanesFarm; e-mail

April, 2024 Edition