[Pedagogical Island], Learning Site, Copenhagen, 2006 - on-going


[Short about composting, land production, islands, seed collecting and growing plants]

[Construction of Pedagogical Island]
[Pedagogical Island] is built of plastic and aluminum parts from a shelving system. Flotation is achieved from unused materials like sealed plastic bottles collected from laundrymats and car washes. The island consists of 4 triangles. The one in the middle is open to the water, aquatic plants, shellfish and fish. Containers for the cultivation of algae can be added.
The three remaining triangles contain collected soil and compost. The first layer is a wooden plate with holes for drainage. The next layer is geotextile and the final layer is coir or coconut fiber. Above this is a layer of clay balls and then a layer of locally produced compost mixed with soil. Earthworms are added for the soil nutrient rich castings they produce as well as to help the process of decomposition. Not to mention the bacteria, fungi and microbes that take part of that very process, see text: [Production of soil and composting methods].
Different edible plants have been cultivated so far such as; Jerusalem artichoke, a variety of salad greens, cabbage, tomatoes, flowers, potatoes and more. Seeds from some edible salt tolerant plants (halophytes) have been collected and sown on [Pedagogical Island]. On the adjacent pontoon, flowering perennials, like lavender, have been planted to attract pollinating insects.





Production of land via composting.



[Production of soil and composting methods]
Soil is a term comprising a wide-ranging multiplicity of organic material (decomposed parts of animals and plants), mineral particles, microorganisms, insect life, cavities and pores filled with water and air.
Four elements of all compost: moisture, oxygen, temperature and carbon and nitrogen (C:N): Compost can be made in a batch or be built continuously. Continuous compost works more slowly as new material is constantly being added. Compost passes through four phases: bacteria combines carbon with oxygen to produce carbon dioxide and energy. Some of this energy is consumed by themicroorganisms in the compost and the rest is given off as heat. 1. Mesophilic bacteria phase (up to 44 degrees Celcius), 2.Thermophilic bacteria phase(begins around 44 – 52 degrees Celcius and continues to 70 degrees Celsius /111 through 158 degrees Fahrenheit) The thermophilic stage destroys a lot of pathogens. Biological activity stops above 82 degrees Celcius/180 degrees Fahrenheit, 3. Cooling phase. After this material will appear digested (looks like soil) but larger bits remain and are worked on by fungi, earthworms, sowbugs converting it to humus, 4. Curing phase. Letting the compost rest for a year continues the destruction of pathogens. The increase of microbial diversity prevents pathogens from colonizing the compost.





Pedagogical Island with winter compost 2006/2007.




[Compost on Pedagogical Island]
Seaweed collected from the beach and fallen leaves were gathered to build the compost and were mixed with sawdust from the local wood shop. In addition, finely cut branches and grass clippings and old straw bedding and manure from the local horse stable became ingredients. A container was used to collect kitchen leftovers. The contents of the container were regularly added to the compost. When the compost has fully decomposed, it is added to the [Pedagogical Island] as needed. Household compostable materials include: shredded newspaper and cardboard, tealeaves and coffee grounds, stale bread, grains and vegetable and fruit scraps. The kitchen waste (nitrogen) will make the composting of the materials quicker and is nutrition for the microorganisms in the compost. Compost material should be finely cut so that there is a maximum surface area exposed. When biological materials are composted different gases are released. For landfills e.g. larger composting systems, gases such as methane and CO2 are produced and can be utilized to produce power.
During winter, compost is added on the places on [Pedagogical Island] where perennials or plants that survive winter are not growing.





The [Pedagogical Island] with different plants. Tomatoes have sprung up from the collected compost as well as a blackberry bush.



Vermicomposting
Worms can be added to compost piles to speed up composting. Composting worms, can handle a wide temperature range from 7-32 degrees degrees Celcius. They feed on the bacteria that decomposes the dead leaves/manure/food waste in a compost pile. They eat twice their body weight in a day and take two months to reach maturity after birth. Once the food passes through their digestive systems it comes out of their body as castings. The castings are decomposed by bacteria into soil nutrients- proteins, carbohydrates among others.





Box for storing food





Seeds from Pedagogical Island and Pod#001



[Short about seeds and seed banks]
[Different artificial Islands]

[Index]