|Composting & Culture(Foodways Traditions of Northwest Ohio)Composting is the process of turning discarded food and plants into something usable, “healthy dirt” that nourishes the soil for growing plants. It offers a way to recycle rather than add to heaps of trash.
Composting also offers connections—to the environment, the food system, our own food habits, the places we inhabit, and the cultures surrounding our food. Through composting, we can recognize these connections as well as create some excellent gardening materials!
Healthy Dirt Education Project
Composting is a way for children to learn about the cycles of food production, how it is consumed, and how its disposal can affect the environment. Composting also ties us to our own identities, foodways, and eating choices, so that it can be used to teach a range of subjects and concepts.
The Composting Connections Curriculum teaches children how to compost their leftover food, learn about the food cycle, and make some surprising connections along the way.
· The environment-Composting to strengthens the soil so that healthy plants can grow. Composting also makes us aware of the natural cycles.
· The food system-The contemporary food system tends to create a lot of waste. Composting helps make the food system more sustainable.
· Healthy eating-Composting can be the basis for learning about nutrition, good eating habits, and healthy lifestyles.
· Gardening and cooking skills-Composting and gardening leads to preservation and cooking of harvested foods.
· Culture-What we eat and then discard expresses our culture and individuality since what is edible and palatable is defined differently by different cultures and personal experiences. Through composting, we can learn about our local food culture, food as culture (foodways), local history, the contemporary American food system, and other cuisines.
· Composting is one small step in recognizing the connections among what we eat, where it comes from, where it goes, and how all of that is tied to our future.
TIMELINE OF COMPOSTING
2334-2279 BCE-First written account of compost found during the reign of King Sargon of the Akkadian Dynasty in the Fertile Crescent in Mesopotamia .
234-149 BCE-Marcus Porcius Cato, Roman, described composting in “DeAgi Cultura.”
50 BCE-Cleopatra made worms sacred due to composting abilities.
23-70 CE-Pliny the Elder, Roman naturalist refers to composting in his writing.
1580-Thomas Tussier describes composting in his book, 500 Pointes of Good Husbandrie.
1787-George Washington constructed a “repository for dung” to cure manure into fertilizer.
1840-Justus VonLiebig, German chemist, wrote “Organic Chemistry in Its Application to Agriculture and Philosophy,” which led to the practice of using chemicals instead of compost on crops.
1940-Sir Albert Howard, British government agronomist, developed the Indore Method for composting. Considered the Father of Modern Composting.
1996-Edible Schoolyard Project-Alice Waters Chez, Panisse Foundation