Wednesday, July 26, 2017

It's Water-Wise Wednesday with Frannie the Fish! {Food Waste Part 1: Composting}

Food is an integral part of the water cycle.  Plants need water to grow.  Animals need plants to eat and water to drink.  The big trucks need water to keep their engines cool on the long interstate drives from the farm to the store to the table.  You even use water to clean and cook your food.

We know it’s important to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle, but did you know you can do that with your food, too?

Food waste is the name for our leftovers after we’re done preparing, cooking, or eating our food.  In this mini-series, Frannie will look at different ways that we can reduce, reuse, and recycle food waste.



Composting is one of the easiest way to reuse food waste from fruits and vegetables.  It reduces the volume of trash we put into landfills while creating nutrient-rich soils we can use to grow beautiful, healthy plants.

It starts with a box. Or a bin. Or hole in the ground. Or even just a pile in the corner of your yard that is out of the way and people know not to step in.  Any way you have it, the important part of the pile is the worms and fungi and bugs, decomposers that will take whatever you put into your compost and turn it into the dirt you want at the end.
 
Once you have your compost pile or box or hole, you can start putting things in there.  But wait, you can’t put all of your food waste in the compost.  Only put plant-based items in your bin, such as nut shells, fruit and veggie peelings, grass clippings, and weeds.  Things you should not put in your compost include meat, dairy, oils, or fats because they might attract some pests you don’t want near your home.

Once you have added your first compostable materials, cover them with soil or some already completed compost.  This will kick-start the decomposing process by introducing the worms and microbes (little bacteria) to the fresh scraps.

Add a little water for moisture, turn or stir it once a week, and voila! Your composted soil should be completely done and ready to use in just a couple months! Of course you can always add to the top of the pile and scoop out the finished compost at the bottom to keep the process going.

Like Frannie said before, the finished product that comes out of a compost pile is a nutrient-rich soil that you can use to start new seedlings or spread on the top of your garden like a fertilizer.


Share pictures of your compost piles and gardens for a chance to be featured in an upcoming blog! Happy Gardening!

Friday, July 21, 2017

BLOG: Lords Valley Country Club, Lords Valley, Pennsylvania


This summer, the Groundwater Blog will be profiling participants of the Groundwater Guardian Green Site program. The program recognizes green spaces (golf courses, parks, nature areas, educational and office campuses, etc.) for using groundwater-friendly practices to maintain the site. Find out more.




Site: Lords Valley Country Club, Lords Valley, Pennsylvania
Site Manager: Christopher Passenti, Golf Course Superintendent


Tell us a little about your site and its history
Lords Valley Country Club is an 18-hole private club in Lords Valley, Pennsylvania. The golf course was established as a private country club in the early 1970s, and has been Audubon certified since 1996.

What’s the most unique feature of your site? 
The golf course features a lake that surrounds several holes.



What groundwater-friendly practices are you most proud of?
Lords Valley has worked to protect water resources by reducing water and chemical usage throughout the course.

What would you tell another site manager about being a Green Site? 
Being a Green Site has helped Lords Valley focus its efforts on using less water and reducing the amount of chemicals on the golf course.

What’s the best part about your job?
The best part about my job is seeing the great results of the staff's hard work.

________


Christopher Pasenti has been the Course Superintendent at Lords Valley Country Club for 15 years, and a Golf Course Superintendent for 25. Find out more about LOrds Valley Country Club at www.lordsvalleycountryclub.com. 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

BLOG: Beavercreek Golf Club, Beavercreek, Ohio


This summer, the Groundwater Blog will be profiling participants of the Groundwater Guardian Green Site program. The program recognizes green spaces (golf courses, parks, nature areas, educational and office campuses, etc.) for using groundwater-friendly practices to maintain the site. Find out more.




Site: City of Beavercreek, Beavercreek Golf Club
Site Manager: Zach Wike, Assistant Golf Course Superintendent



Tell us a little about your site and its history
Beavercreek Golf Club is owned and operated by the City of Beavercreek. It opened for play in 1996. Environmental stewardship is a top priority, and we have been a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary since 2014. 

What’s the most unique feature of your site? 
The 180 acre golf course is set amongst rolling hills and is comprised of many different ecosystems. The golf course is responsible for handling a lot of storm water from surrounding properties during rain events. Through pond and stream bank naturalization, we are able to filter much of the water before it leaves the property and flows into nearby wetlands. 

What groundwater-friendly practices are you most proud of?
We have greatly reduced the fertilization totals on property over the last few years. Providing enough fertility for a healthy stand of turf is essential for creating a natural filter, however, we utilize soil and tissue testing to apply fertilizer precisely as its needed as to eliminate or reduce any runoff or leaching.  

What would you tell another site manager about being a Green Site? 
Being a Green Site is valuable as it ensures proper practices are in place to protect groundwater. Many of the practices that site managers have in place are already beneficial to groundwater. This program ensures that site managers take into account all practices that impact groundwater and make the necessary changes to protect against groundwater pollution. It is also a great certification to show off to all stakeholders.

What’s the best part about your job?
The best part about my job is being able to see the sunrise every morning. It is certainly a view that never gets old. That coupled with working with nature is a very rewarding experience.

________


Zach Wike has been the Assistant Course Superintendent at Beavercreek Golf Club for eight years. Find out more about Beavercreek Golf Club by visiting www.beavercreekgolfclub.com or wike@beavercreekohio.gov.  Follow him on Twitter at @zachwike.