Passionate about composting, Coronadan shares her knowledge with the Crown Garden Club | News from Coronado Island

What if you could reduce the damage of greenhouse gases to our planet by simply saving leftover food? What if this simple gesture could repair the damage to 3 and a half cars?

A local woman is passionate about helping our planet heal while helping her garden. Cays resident Laura Wilkinson started composting 4 years ago after discovering the process at the Living Coast Discovery Center where she took classes and became a master composter. These days, Wilkinson lectures on composting, helping residents of many cities, especially in low income areas, discover something she loves to do and make a difference.

Prior to becoming a master composter, Wilkinson worked in the media industry as a DJ on KCBQ and KPRI and later as a co-host of Eye on San Diego on Channel 10. She was also involved in the industry. legal cannabis.

Wilkinson was recently a special guest at the Crown Garden Club meeting held at the Coronado Public Library. Using a slideshow, Wilkinson showed how easy it is to compost and help gardens thrive. Her passion for gardening began when she watched her father garden when she was a child. Her love of gardening and nature continued throughout her life and included a stint as a beekeeper.

“Composting is an effective and efficient way to reduce waste and reduce the carbon footprint,” she explained. By making compost and using it in your garden, you are amending the soil and your plants will thrive.

Wilkinson explained the type of waste that can go in the compost bin, including clippings of trees, grass and shrubs, fruits and vegetables, eggshells, coffee grounds and even hair.

There are four elements necessary for successful composting starting with the browns. Browns produce carbon and include: garden clippings, shredded paper, shredded boxes, thick wood branches, untreated wood chips, and untreated sawdust as well; Green vegetables that produce nitrogen: landscape clippings, fruits, bread, cereals, eggshells, tea bags and coffee grounds, avoid meat and other food scraps. If you have animals that eat grass, you can also use their droppings (the droppings of other animals are a concern for salmonella and ecoli.) All living things need oxygen to survive. This means inflating the heap with a pitchfork to aerate the compost; and finally water – the compost should be moist and you should be able to squeeze it like a sponge. If there is not enough water, add more. Cover during the rain.

Wilkinson recommends purchasing kitchen caddies that you can place near your sink to collect leftover food before adding them to your large bin. Composting bins come in several varieties, from wooden bins to some made from 100% recycled plastic.

As a master composter, she worked on numerous projects throughout San Diego, including at Coronado High School and the Village Elementary School. Other composting projects are at Imperial Beach with residents of the VFW Post Apartments on 13th Street, the Senior Center in Lemon Grove, and the Logan Heights Children Development Center.

Composters need patience. It takes 5 to 6 weeks to make compost full of nutrients for the soil that is ready for your plants. Wilkinson uses her compost to fertilize her citrus fruits and cherry tomatoes and she has seen amazing results. His secret is to add worms to his compost. She explained that worms eat 50 to 100 percent of their weight in a day. If you use worms, be careful that they don’t like onions, garlic, and citrus fruits as they are too strong for them. Gardeners who compost with worms can make worm tea, which Wilkinson describes as liquid gold for gardeners.

“If only 10 people started composting, the impact would be the equivalent of taking 10 gasoline cars off the grid… we throw away over 1,000 pounds of food every year, which would mean taking 3 and a half cars off the road. It has an impact on the environment. “

“It’s easy, it’s free, you can even dig a hole in your yard and keep it covered, it reduces methane, replenishes soil, reduces runoff in the bay and creates spectacular gardens,” he said. she declared. Wilkinson asked the group to encourage the city of Coronado to embrace composting in its new climate action plan and to subsidize bins. She suggested that cities can even do community composting using a small plot of land in the city.

“What can I do to stop climate change and reverse it? It will take all of us to do it… Now is the time to act. You can ask “I’m just one person, what can I do?” Even if you live in an apartment, you can compost. I am a composting evangelist. I’m like a Johny Appleseed. It is easy and free. It connects you with nature and you do something proactive with our land, ”she said. Wilkinson had kitchen bins available for donation and the proceeds are being reinvested in his projects, particularly the Logan Heights Development Center.

Wilkinson explained that The Post developer hired her for a six-week composting project to teach residents how to do it. “What we did at The Post was we got 3.5 cars off the road,” she said. The projects started last July with a core of 6 to 8 residents. Composting contributed to the resort’s water bill and was used to amend the soil in the garden. After starting the compost bin with the residents, Wilkinson left tools with them – gloves, a pitchfork and a shovel – and returned to check on the progress. “They loved it, some were skeptical at first, the residents are so busy. I tried to have incentives like pizza and even the owner added incentives. “Composting changes our relationship with food and the land. When we put things in the trash, we don’t know what happens next… our landfills in San Diego will be full by 2025, ”Wilkinson said.

If you don’t like composting, you can still help the environment by saving food scraps. EDCO should start offering kitchen caddies to collect leftover food. Residents can then throw the waste into their greenery collection bins. A digester at the EDCO facility will treat the waste and create methane, which feeds their vehicles.

For more information on Wilkinson and his work, log on SanDiegoComposting.com or call (619) 363-1840.