A year after constructing a compost bin for our Missouri property, I have begun to build a larger one for our Littleton, Colorado, farm. While we have owned the farm since 1990, we have resorted to using an open compost pile in a wild corner of the lot; since a variety of creatures roam the farm, including red fox, skunks and raccoons, we have been reluctant to add fruit and vegetable scraps to the yard "waste," knowing that remnants would soon be scattered by those scavengers.
But my decision to build Compost Bin West was also motivated by the positive experiences derived from the Missouri project. While we have we become more diligent about recycling kitchen leftovers, the bin has also been an effective teaching project for our grandsons; more than learning about the importance of conservation and the use of natural compost to fertilize our gardens, they have enjoyed adding scraps to the rotting pile and often report on the variety of "bugs" that they observed in the bin. Indeed, the oldest has become a self-proclaimed expert on compost bins, having learned about their construction and maintenance on one of his naturalist cartoon programs.
Such are the true benefits of conservation related projects and practices. While they benefit our natural ecosystems today, they also stoke the imagination and passion of future generations. If enough children are encouraged to forego chemical fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides in favor of organic fertilization and natural pest control, the health of humans, wildlife and our natural environment will all be served.