Last year Ann Damude of the Rossland Sustainability Commission handed out light bulbs in the downtown on Earth Day.

Rossland chicken and compost crawl to feature four different compost types

Saturday is Earth Day and Rossland has lots of activities planned, including the annual chicken and compost crawl.

This Earth Day’s Rossland Real Food Chicken and Compost Crawl will feature four different kinds of composts two of which offer solutions for composting in bear country.

The crawl is just one of the many events happening this Earth Day on Saturday, April 22. Other activities include RDCK’s Trash to Treasure Day, an open house at the North Jubilee Wetland, where you can speak with members of the Rossland Society for Environmental Action (RSEA) and the Rossland Streamkeepers, $1 trees at the Rossland Public Library, a bottle drive to benefit the SPCA, and the first outdoor Rossland Mountain Market of the season.

The self-guided tour starts at the library, which will be acting as the Chicken Crawl Headquarters on Saturday. Participants can pick up a map (or download it at ow.ly/yjaA30aIkGT) and chat with Des Profili about composting and raising chickens in bear country.

From there, there are seven stops featuring composts, chickens and ducks.

“When people get there, there will be a sign on the person’s front lawn saying this is a Chicken and Compost Crawl location, and the homeowner will be there, so you don’t just have to go into someone’s backyard unguided,” explains Ann Damude from the Sustainability Commission.

Five of the stops feature some kind of egg layer and seven feature composts including the classic Rossland pallet composters.

“You basically stand four pallets up on end in a square and you tie them together with old inner-tubes or rope or whatever you have and then you compost inside those,” says Damude. “What’s great is you can just release the ties on the edge and they fall down and you can really turn your compost really easy.”

Two of the composts offer solutions for composting in bear country. The first also has the added benefit of providing an option for people without a yard. Jess King has a worm composter that can be viewed on the tour.

“It’s a really great way for people to compost indoors, especially if they’re in an apartment or a condominium, they don’t have a yard where they can have their own outdoor compost, or if they just don’t want to deal with composting outdoors and the potential for attracting wildlife,” says Damude.

The other is “a compost bin made of stone, concrete and steel,” in the yard of Gord and Crystal Lindsey.

“It has a special construction method that still allows rain in to keep your compost moist and air in to keep your compost aerated, but it is really common in Powell River, where they have really high bear traffic,” says Damude.

The bomb-shelter-like compost keeps out not only bears, but smaller critters as well.

The fourth kind of compost on the tour is a hugelkultur at Moon Gravity Farms, where a variety of materials are built into a mound that is then left to rot for about a year. During the second year, you can then plant things in the mound directly.

Damude says the crawl is to encourage people to deal with their yard waste in their own yards, while getting rich compost to go back into their gardens in return.

For a full schedule of events, see the community calendar on page 9.