Jack’s Experience with Earth Matter

This Saturday, I was part of a group of Friends students who volunteered with the organization Earth Matter on Governor’s Island. I began my day by gathering the recycled food scraps from the chicken coop that the chickens had not eaten, which was piled up in order to be turned into compost. The food scraps that the chickens ate were gathered from multiple sources, ranging everywhere from farmers markets to even Friends itself. After the compost had been gathered, we then laid down wood chippings in the coop so that more food scraps could be placed on top of them. We then proceeded to wash down the chicken roosts so the chickens had a place to rest within the coop, as the compost nearby the roosts is a large source of heat for the chickens when it is cold out and having this space allows for more chickens to be in the coop. After we placed the freshly cleaned roosts in the coop and had a small break to eat, we then saw the bee hives that Earth Matter had only installed the day before, and we also learned about the importance of bees to the ecosystem. Our next task was to hang artwork in the goat pens, which were painted blocks mounted on both sides of the fence for decoration while there were visitors to Governor’s Island. Our final task of the day was to transplant beets into a new planter, which is only one of the few plants that Earth Matter grows on Governor’s Island. Before we went to the ferry to leave Governor’s Island, we learned about the process through which compost is created from food scraps, and each of the volunteers was given eggs gathered that day from the chickens,

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