Nutrients for the soil

Don’t Treat Fallen Leaves as Trash Again
Compost-Making Becomes a Movement for All Farmers
Fertilizers Can be Alive, Too
Apply Fertilizers Reasonably
Taiwan’s Land Has an Imbalance of Nutrition
Taiwan's Land Is Not Very Healthy

Don’t Treat Fallen Leaves as Trash Again

Minyi Elementary School When you walk into the Minyi Elementary School in Sanshia Township, Taipei County, you are greeted by plush green, singing birds and fragrant flowers. You won’t smell the odor of compost despite the fact that there is a big pile of compost in the campus.

The school did not hide the compost and buckets of compost are placed in the campus where everybody will pass by. They do not stink because Director Lin, Hung-chang of General Affairs of the School knows exactly how to make compost and how to make it without generating offensive odor.

You can say that every student graduated from the Minyi Elementary School has the experience of making compost and knows how to make it.

Mr. Lin did not know how to make compost at the beginning. At first he grew vanilla in the school using foamed slag, vermiculite and pearlite as media. But these media were expensive and not good at keeping nutrients.

Dr. Lin, Hung-changThen he thought of fallen leaves being cleared away by students and lunch prepared by the school everyday, and started to study how to make compost. After a period of collection and experiments, he had a knack for making compost. He discovered that making compost with kitchen leftovers of raw vegetables and egg shells and fallen leaves will not result in offensive odor. All the other leftovers such as meat, oil, egg, milk and unfinished dishes cannot be used.

But the shortcoming of using fallen leaves to make compost is that the ratio of carbon to nitrogen is too high, because too little nitrogen will slow the speed of fermentation. Lin solved the problem by raising goats, and made very good compost by mixing goat dung with fallen leaves and raw kitchen leftovers. “Goats can also provide milk, give birth to kids and serve as live teaching aid in eco-education,” said Lin. He found out later that coffee dregs and overdue yogurt are very good additives. The compost made by the Minyi Elementary School has become abundant in contents with more and more nutrition.

And all Minyi school students know how to grow vegetables. While students of lower grades begin with seedling cultivation, students of higher grades grow vegetables as a kind of research. “As long as the vegetables grow normally, our students can eat them,” said Lin, adding that “The experience of being happy about harvesting is unforgettable for the rest of their lives.” The vegetables grown by students become additional dishes for lunch in school.And all Minyi school students know how to grow vegetables. While students of lower grades begin with seedling cultivation, students of higher grades grow vegetables as a kind of research. “As long as the vegetables grow normally, our students can eat them,” said Lin, adding that “The experience of being happy about harvesting is unforgettable for the rest of their lives.” The vegetables grown by students become additional dishes for lunch in school.

Soil is very important. At first you have to “revitalize” the soil, and that’s building its ecological system. “Soil without organisms is dead and useless,” noted Lin.

The goatTherefore Lin had made a lot of efforts to improve soil in the early stage. He used compost to enrich the soil and try to build its organism system. When earthworms, microbes, long-horned beetles and Japanese rhinoceros beetles are attracted to the soil, these organisms inside and outside the soil form an ecological system which, in turn, enriches the soil.Therefore Lin had made a lot of efforts to improve soil in the early stage. He used compost to enrich the soil and try to build its organism system. When earthworms, microbes, long-horned beetles and Japanese rhinoceros beetles are attracted to the soil, these organisms inside and outside the soil form an ecological system which, in turn, enriches the soil.

Lin’s originality has been created continuously. His latest idea is to bring students to organic farms and plant vegetables there under the cooperation between the school and those farms, aiming at growing enough vegetables for school lunches.

It certainly will be a wonderful experience for the students to eat vegetables they grow and drink milk they draw from goats when having lunch in school.

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