Earth Friendly: Come to the Spring Fling
By Meridith Byrd
Have you ever thought about composting? Curious about where all your tree trimmings and leaves go after you bring them to the curb? Interested in organic gardening? You can find answers to all your gardening and composting questions Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., when the city of Victoria Environmental Services Department hosts a free event called the Spring Fling at the Garden-Ville Composting Facility. The facility is located next to the landfill at 18125 Farm-to-Market Road 1686.
For almost three years now, all yard waste has been transported out to the composting facility, where it is mixed with biosolids and left to cook in the sun. Weeds, insect larvae and other undesirables are killed off as the temperature of the compost rises over a period of weeks. The tree branches, grass clippings and leaves break down into a nutrient-rich fertilizer, which is packaged and sold at the Garden-Ville Composting Facility and at area nurseries under the name Coastal Grow. The city held a contest to name the product that would be made from Victoria's yard waste, and the winning name was submitted by the Victoria County Master Gardeners.
Composting can also be done in your own backyard. I have had a compost pile since 2006. I started composting before I ever thought of gardening; when I began, it was just a way to keep food scraps from going to waste down the garbage disposal. I collect food scraps in an old snap-top plastic container that is kept in my kitchen, and can be hidden under the sink, if needed. When the container fills up, I take it out to the backyard and empty it into the compost bin, then cover the addition with dried leaves. Backyard composting takes much less labor and produces much less odor than you may realize. Plus, you get free fertilizer for your garden or flower beds.
You can get tips on organic gardening and composting at Saturday's event from the Victoria County Master Gardeners as well as from Malcolm Beck, a published author and authority on the topics. With so many great resources on hand, this is a great opportunity for someone who might be curious about gardening or incorporating compost into their garden but unsure of where to begin.
More information can be obtained by calling the Environmental Services Department at 361-485-3230. You can also view a fun public service announcement on the event at www.vtv15.org.
Meridith Byrd is a marine biologist and invites readers to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.