Embracing organics to give back to nature. TIS/22121628
Most of us have thrown out food at some point in our life with disregard to where it will actually end up. Maybe we put more food on our plates than our stomachs can handle. Throwing food scraps away may not seem like a big deal, but the steps and resources involved in getting the food onto your plate are then wasted as well.
While some people feed their food scraps to
their pigs or domestic animals, others throw away these scraps, which then end
up in our landfill. When food scraps enter the landfill, the food waste
decomposes and enters the soil and air as methane gas. So this type of
behaviour can severely damage the environment and surrounding communities. The
way that we dispose of our food waste has an impact on our ecosystems.
While food is biodegradable, landfills
don’t allow for natural breakdown processes. The breakdown of food requires
airflow, and landfills are stacked in such a way that air is unable to
circulate through the various layers of rubbish.
Composting and worm farming speeds up that
process and produces many benefits. When you toss your food scraps into a
compost bin or worm farm, you are creating a nutrient-rich fertiliser and
eliminating the use of chemical fertilisers. Disposing of your food scraps in a
composting bin or feeding leftovers to your farm animals is a far superior
alternative to throwing it away. This is
the best way to keep food waste from piling up in our landfill.
Worm farming is like composting on
steroids, it breaks down waste into valuable compost in a much shorter time
frame. Worm farming, otherwise known as vermiculture, is the process of using
red wiggler worms or Indian blue worms to help break down organic waste into
the world’s best nutrient-rich fertiliser, commonly known as worm castings and
Worm tea is a super-rich liquid fertiliser
used to help fuel garden and pot plants. Farmers and gardeners often refer to
worm tea as “liquid-gold”.
This magical potion gives your plants and
vegetables the boost of nutrients they need. You won’t find these ingredients
in chemically infused liquid fertilisers. Nothing is better than this recipe
from mother nature. While worms are not picky eaters, there are foods that they
don’t like, so make sure you avoid feeding the worms meat, citrus, onions, and
dairy food products.
These foods won’t harm your worms, but they
will avoid them - and those scraps will break down and rot in the bin.
Rarotonga has a large-scale composting
facility behind Papaaroa Adventist School. It has generated interest over the
past 10 years from local farmers and gardeners who are passionate about growing
local vegetables and plants in a sustainable and safe way.
Accommodation businesses including the
Pacific Resort and Little Polynesian have contributed to the composting
facility by dropping off brown waste such as weeds, plants, tree trimmings and
leaves. Individuals working at the facility encourage people to compost on
their own to start with, because you learn to appreciate the process of worm
farming and composting more. Worm farming offers the opportunity to make use of
natural processes in our homes, within our communities, and on our farms.
Next time you throw your food scraps into the
rubbish bin, consider offering them to someone that has pigs or make your own
at-home compost bin or worm farm. We need to invest more time into our earth
and appreciate the value of food instead of allowing our food scraps to enter
Te Ipukarea Society has several worm farms
and compost bins for sale which would make the perfect Christmas present for
anyone with a home garden who wants to go organic.