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Rain Barrel and Composting Workshops

By Carlen Hultgren
Summer is upon us and while most of the planting is done (or should be), an important part of the long term gardening and yard maintenance process begins, the most basic part of this being watering. A great enhancement to your garden, with the added benefit of ‘recycling’ rainwater, is a rain barrel. Easy to install and take care of, a rain barrel will provide your garden or yard with plenty of water whether it is a wet summer or a dry one. This is especially important when, as has happened in years past, watering restrictions due to drought conditions are enforced.
Another easy way to enhance your gardens and home greenspace is composting. Again, easy to do, inexpensive and here you are ‘recycling’ organic waste from your kitchen. This would include, among other things, all organic matter (from vegetables and plant based foods), egg shells, and coffee grounds. Composting your leaves each fall by putting them around the trunks of trees or over garden beds is a simple matter and limits the waste that goes to landfills each year. Composting your kitchen waste is another great way of saving landfill space in addition to giving you valuable material to enrich your garden and yard soil each spring.
In an effort to promote both the home use of rain barrels and composting, the Atlanta Watershed Management will host rain barrel and composting workshops beginning June 23, 2016. Workshops are held from 11:00am to 1:00pm at the Water Works Lodge, located at 655 Green Street NW, 30318. The workshop fee is $40 and includes a rain barrel and installation kit or a composting kit, which can be paid on-site by cash, check or money order.
The dates for rain barrel workshops are June 23, July 21, August 25, and September 22. Those for composting are June 28, July 26, August 30, and September 27. For more information, or to register, contact Danita Ogandaga at dogandaga@atlantaga.gov or  (404) 750-9601.
An alternative for those not wanting to deal with the composting process, there is a great service in the area called Compost Wheels. It is a simple as putting your organic kitchen scraps in a free 5 gallon container which they provide, and for a small fee, they will pick it up weekly. There are commercial options as well, for restaurants and coffee shops. For more information about this service, call (830) 837-6482 or email info@compostwheels.com.
Every little bit helps in an effort to minimize landfill use and re-use what nature so generously offers.

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