Saturday, April 16, 2011

Constructing a Compost Bin, Planting a Pineapple, and Spirulina--Hands on Science

The other day I just had to do something constructive with the kids to get my mind off of things. I have been having chest pains, well actually a tightness in my chest, every time I think about my very sick sister. I just had to get outside and TRY to clear my mind!! Well, a science project would accomplish two things; science lesson for the kids and therapy for Mommy.

Step 1: Obtain a large plastic bin and charge up your cordless drill!
Step 2: Drill small holes into the bottom of the bin for proper drainage.

Step 3: Drill holes into the sides of the bin for proper aeration.

Step 4: Round up the kids, this is their science project after all!

Step 5: Load up the bin with some "brown stuff". Dead leaves or twigs work fine. This is a Mahogany tree that drops its foliage every April. We have Fall in SW Florida--crazy!

Step 6 : We added a thin layer of black manuer. This helps speed up the decomposition process.
Step 7 : Add a thick layer of kitchen compost scraps that you have been collecting for the last two to three days. We had fruits, vegetables and coffee grounds with unbleached coffee filters here.

Step 8 : Snap a picture of the kiddos admiring their finished science project. Now all we have to do is wait, add more scraps, keep it moist, and turn it often. The result will be rich, dark, soil for our next square foot garden bed.

The next science project we completed that day was the planting of our pineapple. Three weeks ago we kept the top to a beautiful pineapple that we got from the Farmer's Market and we placed it in a jar filled with filtered water. We waited patiently for it to sprout these tiny roots.

Then we planted it in some good potting mix, watered it and placed the pot next to our square foot garden. I will remember to water it each time I water the garden. Once it gets established and grows larger roots, we will transplant it in the yard. This was a fun and simple project showing the kids how easy it is to cultivate new plants from one that you just enjoyed eating for lunch. We attempted to do this with one of our avocado pits but it never did sprout. We will try that one again soon. I think I might have stuck the toothpicks in too far??
How about a delicious smoothie recipe? I finally bought our Spirulina!! Yeah! We have been enjoying it every morning in all of our green smoothies. This recipe was very green and very good.

Jolly Green Smoothie
by Elizabeth @ Raw Living and Learning

1/2 C frozen mango
1/2 C frozen peaches
2 small ripe bananas
2 C kale
1 C baby spinach
1 Celery stalk
1/2 C sunflower greens
2 T chia seeds
2 T Hemp seeds
5 spirulina capsules
1 C filtered water

+JMJ+ Today I am grateful for forgiveness. Can you tell where I have been? God is so good! 


kelli said...

great science projects! your children are adorable and very blessed to have you for their mommy.=)

love the jolly green smoothie! i haven't eaten too well this week so i'm going to have a day of juice and/or smoothies, with spirulina.=)

i'm sorry to hear of your sister and your pains. sending lots of love your way! xoxoxo

shellywoman said...

oooh you've had a good day! the compost bin looks great and the pineapple too. i'm a huge fan of the spirulina myself. i call it greengoo. our mix is similar to yours.

peaches, mango, ground flax seed, wheat bran, oat bran, pinch of physillum, chia seeds, fresh greens from the garden (it's been chard leaves lately) and water.

it's nice in the morning and/or after a good workout.

oh yes, I often throw in some kelp powder too.


HiHoRosie said...

sorry to hear about your sister - sending you healing thoughts for both her and YOU!

Great project to share with the kids! So awesome you get them involved in so much.

I wish we could grow pineapples and avos here.

Mr. H. said...

Now that's a very nice compost bin and it looks like the children had fun filling it up. So sorry to hear about your sister not being well.

Elizabeth said...

A big thank you to everyone for your very kind and supportive comment. You have no idea how much I appreciate that!!

kt said...

Hope you are feeling better; what a trying time for you and your family. Sending you all the best!

I so admire the wonderful things you do with your family. You are a true inspiration. Very cool compost bin.

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