My Story: Cheap/Free Compost
contributed by Theresa
Before You Compost
Looking for compost? Free compost? Cheap compost? Ready to use right now? Hot compost? Want to help kids?
First, contact your County Extension Office. Ask to speak to the 4-H office. Tell the 4-H office that you are looking for a livestock club. They will take your information and pass it along to a club leader who'll contact you. Tell the leader what you are looking for and ask if you sent several flyers with your information to them, would they hand them out at the next meeting?
Next, contact your School District Office and ask for a list of schools that have an FFA program. You may get just the school names or they may include the contact person information also. Contact them and tell them what you are looking for. Also, the FFA sells plants and can answer questions you may have.
Your flyer should be simple and to the point. Include your name, phone number, the best time to call, your e-mail address, and any other pertinent information.
There is a fun way to make contact with a 4-H or FFA club. Go to the County Fair! Go through the different animal exhibits and talk to the kids about their projects. You will be amazed at how much knowledge an eight year old has, not to mention the pride they have in their project. Take some flyers with you and give them to the adult project leader, or the adult supervising the kids in the barn at that time.
4-Hers range in age from third to twelfth grade, or for those who graduate early, they can be involved until they are 18 years old. FFA is for ninth to twelfth grade.
Animal projects are not cheap. I know from first-hand experience. I was a 4-H mom for several years. The kids earn part or all of the needed funds for their project from parents, prizes or the sale of project related items such as offspring, fiber, eggs, etc. Livestock require a lot of hard work, especially the cleaning of the living area. There is a lot of raking, shoveling, and the moving of manure, bedding, and leftover food to the compost pile.
There are some people that will be happy to just have someone come who is willing to shovel up the compost and haul it away. There are others that may charge a small amount and have the kids help you fill your truck or containers that you bring.
As a bonus, you may make some very good friends and contacts along the way that can help you in many different areas, and you may be of help to them in ways you hadn't thought of.
"My Story" is a regular feature of The Dollar Stretcher. If you have a story that could help save time or money, please send it by mailto:MyStory@stretcher.com
Take the Next Step:
- The Greencycler is a great tool for reducing kitchen waste and also adding valuable kitchen scrap compost to your outside bin or compost hole.
- To find your nearest Cooperative Extension office, please visit www.csrees.usda.gov/Extension/
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