Vermicomposting

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Compost worms will eat your food scraps, and turn them into vermicompost, one of the richest soil amendments. Worms are also ideal in New England and can be stored inside, even in a kitchen below the sink, to make compost year-round or in homes with no yards.
Steps:
(1) A plastic container, sized based on what would fit under your sink, or in your pantry, or wherever you want to store this indoor composter. Starting about four inches up the side, add holes with a drill in the sides and top (air circulation is key to good compost, and no smell!).
(2) Biodegradable bedding material (think browns – newspapers, leaves, shredded top secret documents).
(3) Uncooked (or oiled or sugared) fruit and vegetable waste (greens), and coffee grounds.
(4) Worms! Try to buy them locally, from Cape Cod Worm Farm in Buzzards Bay.
For more information about indoor composting, review the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Webpage on Vermicomposting.

-Lauren Greenhow, General Manager, GreenHow, Inc.
http://www.greenhow.com/
. Effective Organic & Low Impact Solutions, Lawn Care, Pest Control & Termite Control in Newton and Metro Boston.

Think about composting, It’s spring.

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Use the return of warm weather as a chance to open your composter and begin to use it again. Remember to add paper towels or other “browns” to augment the green material you are putting in. And use a hose to wet it down, it should be as moist as a wrung out sponge.
-Lauren Greenhow, General Manager, GreenHow, Inc.
www.GreenHow.com. Effective Organic & Low Impact Solutions, Lawn Care, Pest Control & Termite Control in Newton and Metro Boston.

What does green mean? Continued.

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Termite Control: The most difficult area to be green. Our use of the Sentricon Termite Colony Elimination system, an EPA Presidential Green Chemistry Award Winner, relies on grams of material instead of gallons to control termites. We first used Sentricon in 1996, and as a system has evolved over time, becoming more effective. In the meantime, at least 4 other liquid termiticides have made the rounds from favored product to disappearing. The strategies are the same with non repellent liquid or bait, a few termites get involved with the active material and are used to eliminate the rest of the colony, the difference is the amount of pesticide (volume) used to control them. Since I am writing about green, here is our ecological commitment.
Our Ecological Commitment: At our offices, on the road, we commit to reducing the amount of resources it takes to bring solutions to you. That means eliminating paper use wherever possible, cutting electric and fuel consumption. That means designing service routes that are as efficient as possible and using the most fuel efficient service vehicles with alternative fuels if available. It also means making your green life simpler, by offering a simple fluorescent bulb disposal program and by setting up your family’s composting program. Whether we are in our office or your home or business, our commitment is to save resources and source supplies locally.
In our office, we reuse materials, avoid printing whenever possible. Our business has regulations that require we use paper to document material usage and provide certain information to customers and regulators. As much as we can, we minimize that use. Then, when it comes time to get rid of the old deposit slips or other records, we shred them and introduce them to the compost pile, where they serve as the brown ratio (remember 3 to 1, brown to green) when leaves are not available.
-Lauren Greenhow, General Manager, GreenHow, Inc.
www.GreenHow.com. Effective Organic & Low Impact Solutions, Lawn Care, Pest Control & Termite Control in Newton and Metro Boston.

Can I compost in the winter?

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One customer asked me today, Can I compost in the winter? If you have the Earth Machine composter we have given out to Organic Lawn Care customers in the past, you can add material to the composter. Use your countertop container to collect your materials, such as egg shells and fruit and vegetable material and coffee grounds to limit your trips out in inclement weather. Add shredded newspaper or cardboard for your “brown” since your leaf resource is probably under cover of snow or ice. You are cold composting anyway with such a small pile, and in this weather no breakdown will occur, but keep up with adding matter to the pile. Make sure you return the cover tightly to keep out rodents. You do not want to start a rodent or wildlife issue requiring additional pest control service. For further tips, check out this Winter Composting Fact Sheet from Cornell.
Lauren Greenhow, General Manager, GreenHow, Inc.
www.GreenHow.com. Effective Organic & Low Impact Solutions, Lawn Care, Pest Control & Termite Control in Newton and Metro Boston.