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Gardening, Composting and Learning

By: RMCA

At Rainbow Community School, we work hard to integrate science and environmental sustainability into all of our core subjects. As mentioned on another results page, fourth graders participate in a botany unit early in their 4th grade year, creating journals, taking measurements and the like. The fifth grade helps them by learning about organic vs. inorganic gardening. As part of that practice, fifth grade students study the process of decomposition, especially as it relates to composting.

Each day the fifth grade collects compostable material from around campus and deposits it in one of three different compost bins.

Rainbow has two large worm composting bins that fifth graders maintain:

[image] worm compost bins

 

They also maintain a regular compost pile, adjacent to the worm compost bins:

[image] compost bins

 

Once the compost is finished, the fifth grade can apply the compost to the community gardens, in support of their organic farming practices. These activities supplement their learning on what it is to garden without the use of artificial fertilizers. From there, other classes can then carry out their own lessons, be it nutrition, healthy eating, and more. 

 

Lastly, students also can put compost into a round compost bin so they can switch between all three so as to not overwhelm any one pile with too much food - they understand that it takes a balance of different natural materials to create rich compost.

[image] round compost

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