Deciding on a topic for the farm and developing questions we wanted answered about it.

Once we decided on a topic (composting), we got into groups and formed questions that we wanted to find out about it.
We came up with the following.

Our Questions about Composting
  • Why do we need compost?
  • What do we put into compost?
  • Why do we have worm farms?
  • What makes a good worm farm?
  • How do worms break it down?
  • Where will we put it?
  • Can all waste from the farm/school be used to compost?
  • What is it?
  • Are there different ways to make compost?
  • How long does it take to compost?
  • Does the sun contribute to making compost?
  • What do you use it for?
  • Is there anything you don’t/shouldn’t put in compost?
  • Can you compost plastic and wrappers etc?
  • Animal waste and compost (can they both be used and what types)?
  • Where does the made compost go?

From this we can see that Room 7 will be trying to find out which method of composting is the best and would be most beneficial to the urban farm?

 Everyone helping out testing the composting methods
Analysing the pros and cons of the different methods we tested


  1. Hi Room 7 at Balaclava. Wow! Well done on all of these questions. You'll be experts on composting methods and how to do them well. Composting and using wastes as a resource for the farm is really important to understand. I heard that some types of plastics made of corn starch can be composted. What do you think about the questions and projects of the Kaikorai Valley College students. Did you look at any of their ideas too? Maybe you can help them. Go for it! Dr McMillan

  2. Hi Room 7 at Balaclava, we are investigating chickens and have been looking into what to do with all the waste when we clean out their chicken coops. Maybe we can put them in your compost bins.
    Mrs Eley and 7Bd KVC

    1. Keely, Balaclava. Thank you Mrs.Eley and 7Bd KVC, that's a really good idea!Keely

    2. Addison,Balaclava.I have just got chickens from the battery farm. I wonder if that would help if you need more chickens.Do you want me to find out where the battery farm is.

    3. Hi Archie Colquhoun here from BVA we have got are worm compost bin Room 7 thought you said you had worms if you could supply us that would be great.I am coming to KVC for my mums meeting (Juile Colquhoun).I could talk to you there.thank you Archie.

    4. Hi Archie

      Sorry to miss you today, it was a busy meeting. I will hunt out some worms from my farm tomorrow and hopefully have time to drop them by your school about 2.30. How many do you need to start you worm farm? Do you think a 1 Kg yoghurt pottle would be enough.

      Mrs Eley

    5. Thank you, that would be great!

  3. Hi Room 7
    We want to use compost when we plant our fruit trees. Do you think you will have any ready this year?
    Thanks Jamie 7Hm KVC

  4. Jordan Bva yes we would have compost at the end of the year.

  5. Hi room 7 - I was wondering what you decided to put into the compost and what to put into the worm farm? Are you collecting much organic matter from your school? How much do you collect a day (or wk)? Is it much? How are you getting your school to separate it from the rest of the rubbish? Are they happy to do this or are they grumpy that they have to think about which bin to put it in?
    Lots of questions here!
    How is it all going?

  6. Hi Room 7
    I was just changing out the levels of my worm farm over the weekend and it made me wonder how your composting trials were going?
    Do you have any results in yet?
    Which system has been the easiest to set up?
    Which has produced the best compost?
    Looking forward to implementing your results on the Urban Concept Farm.
    Mrs Eley

  7. Hi Mr Parker and Balaclava students! How is your project going on composting? Did you set up some trials at your school? What did you learn by doing it? November is coming up and I guess you are planning about how to set up the composting on the farm site. I am sure you could make a lot of progress in one day. I wondered if you could use some recycled resources to set it up: like old packing pallets for the surroundings and poles from steel fence posts. What do you think? All the best, Dr. McMillan

  8. Hi Room 7

    It was so good to come and visit last week, I really enjoyed listening to all the knowledge of composting you have gained over the year. I especially liked the pros and cons for each system you have analysed, I have posted a picture of one of them for you up at the top of the page.

    To answer some of your questions
    1. There is a lot of room for you to build your composting system. The space available would be bigger than the area you currently use for your own compost bins.
    2. The compost bins will be in a sheltered part of the the farm with some shade, if you think this is not the best area for them then we can move them.
    3. We do have pests on the farm, we know rabbits and geese are common. We expect rats, mice and possums will also be in the area. I think we will also get stoats, hedgehogs and other predators as well. I am organising to put in some tracking tunnels so we can see what we already have in the area.
    4. At the moment we don't collect food scraps from the students but this is something that could be organised, currently food scraps from the food rooms are taken to pigs off site. Our main items for composting will be the green waste produced by the vege gardens and any waste produced by animals.
    5. If you have found a lid is needed at your school for your composting then I think we will need a lid too.

    I am looking forward to helping you set up some of your chosen composting the systems here.
    Mrs Eley

  9. Hi,
    Would you consider putting the compost bins near the chickens? This way we (8Nk) can throw chicken poo into it easily?
    8Nk are also looking at collecting food scraps from students/school and throwing this to the chickens. Perhaps they would then recycle it into poo we can put on the compost.
    I am bringing in some tracking tunnels tomorrow for 8Nk so they can find out what kind of predators might hassle the chickens. Feel free to look at them and ask us about our findings in a week or so.

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