Gardeners learn all about ‘hot composting’ on Carrot Green Roof

Local event held as part of Toronto Urban Agriculture Week

Sean Smith at hot composting clinic
Sean Smith of Crooked Farmz demonstrated his composting knowledge on Sept. 15. (Claire Forth / Toronto Observer) 

East-end residents got a crash course in the art of “hot composting” at the Carrot Green Roof, a garden above The Big Carrot Community Market, on Sept. 15.

The information session was held in collaboration with Crooked Farmz, an urban microfarm in Toronto known for selling its “compost teas” for home gardening.

Garden coordinator Priya Jain said the Carrot Green Roof is re-starting its programs after the pandemic.

“We’re slowly opening up again to having more volunteers participate,” she said. “We’re looking for collaboration, so there are more opportunities for people to learn and skill share.”

Sean Smith gave an informative presentation at the event. (Claire Forth / Toronto Observer)

Crooked Farmz proprietor Sean Smith touted the benefits of hot composting in proactively preventing problems when the compost is applied down the road.

“It reaches certain temperatures that can help reduce pathogens and kill weed seeds in the composts to make our compost better,” he said.

Smith stressed hot composting is not necessarily easy for beginners.

“Like with many things, it’s always good to try different techniques,” he said. “It’s always good to have several techniques in your toolkit and be able to lean on them depending on context or what works for you.”

What does it mean to be a composter?

Throughout the workshop, Smith reiterated composting is an art form and a skill that one can hone over time.

He pointed to a quote from The Rodale Book of Composting by Grace Gershuny and Deborah L. Martin:

“The compost maker is a farmer of microbes, no less a farmer than a dairy farmer or a vegetable grower.”

Toronto celebrates urban agriculture

The hot composting workshop was just one event held across the city last week as part of Toronto Urban Agriculture Week.

According to Smith, the week is meant to be a harvest time celebration of urban agriculture.

“Increasingly, we are seeing people growing food in the city on smaller scales and larger scales,” he said. “Urban Agriculture Week is a chance to showcase all those endeavours around the city, but also have lots of learning opportunities.”

The Carrot Green Roof is an urban garden and event space above The Big Carrot Community Market. (Claire Forth / Toronto Observer)

The Carrot Green Roof took full advantage of this opportunity, holding this workshop and another on “seed saving.”

“We’re reconnecting with the Earth and with cycles that we often don’t think about when we consider where our food comes from,” Jain said.

She urged those wanting to get involved with the Carrot Green Roof to connect via social media through their Instagram page.

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Posted: Sep 24 2022 8:10 pm
Filed under: News Science & Health