On Saturday, March 23, Dana and Alexis lead a funtastic workshop at the Ansonia Nature Center (ANC). Massaro Farms and ANC teamed up to have us over and we had quite a crowd gather. Nearly 35 folks at all levels of composting joined us for an animated discussion ranging from “how to” to “what to do with the finished product.”
I particularly liked the compost cups we made during the second break. They were tasty and helped review the composting process. YAY!
One question that came up was, “What about black walnut leaves? Can we compost them?” and I found the answer on the Ohio University website, “Walnut leaves can be composted because the toxin breaks down when exposed to air, water and bacteria. The toxic effect can be degraded in two to four weeks. In soil, breakdown may take up to two months. Black walnut leaves may be composted separately, and the finished compost tested for toxicity by planting tomato seedlings in it. Sawdust mulch, fresh sawdust or chips from street tree prunings from black walnut are not suggested for plants sensitive to juglone, such as blueberry or other plants that are sensitive to juglone. However, composting of bark for a minimum of six months provides a safe mulch even for plants sensitive to juglone.” I interpret this as, “Go for it!” It seems clear that the leaves can easily be composted. Cheers!