Advanced Composting Techniques

April 18th Class Resources and Recording

Community Compost Drop Off Sites

Under construction. Please check back soon. In the meantime, please visit the Institute for Local Self-Reliance or contact Amanda with your questions.

Compost Safety

Composting involves the cultivation of microbes. There is always the potential for something to go wrong (ie become anaerobic), or for someone to be sensitive to a particular organism. Please take the appropriate precautions when tending your compost:

  • Wear closed toed shoes or boots, gloves, and a mask, particularly if you see any powdery white substances or it is a windy day. Take care of your compost to avoid it becoming anaerobic (lacking oxygen) and forming pathogenic organisms.
  • Use good quality and sturdy tools and store them properly. The right tool for the job.
  • Warning signs that your compost has become anaerobic include: unpleasant odors, a layer of white powder called actinobacteria, which is the first sign of anaerobic conditions. Like in other circumstances in dealing with particles or fumes in the air (ie drywall dust or lawn equipment fumes and debris) do not breathe in this powdery substance, or any odorous fumes. (If you are interested in this more, you can read this article here. It is a study done by Rodale Institute.)
  • Arrange your compost system so that finished compost is stored on higher ground than unfinished compost. Do not locate compost in an area that puddles or has standing water to avoid spreading contaminates. Compost sitting in water lacks air, so it becomes anaerobic. If necessary, you can use a thick layer of mulch to create a higher area for composting.
  • It is recommended to use separate tools for turning unfinished compost or raw food scraps, or to clean them thoroughly before using them for gardening or handling finished compost.
  • Do not store raw food scraps without mixing them with either brown materials and providing air flow or using the bokashi method, which involves fermenting in a sealed container.
  • Here is the website that I referred to about compost safety:

Meet Amanda

Amanda Streets is a mother and life-long gardener who grew up on a small farm in Michigan. Her family raised cows, chickens and horses and tended to large gardens and orchards. After moving to FL for college, Amanda spent 11 years as a educator. She left public education and now focuses on ecological landscaping, permaculture, and composting.

Amanda holds a Permaculture Design Certificate from Grow Permaculture and expects to complete the Foundations courses soil health with Dr. Elaine Ingham’s Soil Foodweb School in the spring of 2020. She is a active member in the US Composting Council and Permaculture Institute of North America.

She is the Founder of Pinellas Community Compost and Owner of Living Roots Eco Design. Our collective need for sustainable ecosystems, connection to nature, and local food systems influence Amanda’s interest in helping families to make positive choices for themselves and nature, working to change the habits of a generation.

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