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The Benefits of Composting O

rganic waste that breaks down anaerobically in landfills produces meth- ane, the most potent of the green-house gases. Since food waste makes up to 45% of the waste stream, and yard waste is banned from North Carolina landfills, it makes environmental and economic sense to manage organic wastes at home. Less garbage means lower disposal costs and your kitchen scraps can make great natural fertilizer.

Well-made compost has a nutrient rich balance of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium (N-P-K), close to a neutral pH, and a host of beneficial micro- organisms. This means you are improving the health of the soil naturally. Syn- thetic fertilizers are often too high in nitrogen, are prone to washing out of the soil too quickly to be of long-term benefit to your plants, and they destroy the microorganisms that help keep your soil healthy. They also cause higher levels of nitrogen in our waterways. A healthy organic soil makes for vigorous plant growth with natural resistance to pests and disease and more nutritious vege- tables. Using your homemade compost will allow you to stop buying expensive synthetic fertilizers that destroy your soil and wind up in our waterways. You will also save on your water bill as adding compost protects soils from drying out. A compost rich soil beneath a top-dressing of mulch retains mois- ture and reduces the need for both weeding and watering. FREE composting classes will be held in April in Chapel Hill, and private composting classes are available for groups of six or more. Contact Muriel Williman at 919-968-2788 or email See ad on this page.

Learn How to Make Compost

cover artist

Burrowing Owl Stephen Blancett


Saturday, April 21 10:00–11:30 a.m.

Compost Demonstration Site Community Center Learning

Garden (behind the rose garden) Estes Drive, Chapel Hill

Saturday, April 28 10:00–11:30 a.m.

Compost Demonstration Site Orange County Solid Waste

1207 Eubanks Rd, Chapel Hill FREE

Learn how to COMPOST indoors using worms, or outdoors using a variety of containers and recipes.

6 NA Triangle

Taught by Orange County Solid Waste Management’s

composting expert, Muriel Williman. No registration is necessary and children are welcome with an adult.

For more info: Call (919) 968-2788 or

over artist Stephen Blancett has been making art since child- hood, but his style and subjects are ever-evolving. Animals are a new favorite subject of the artist, who typically paints both abstracts and figures portrayed realistically in form, but in bold, unreal colors. “I’ve always had a love for animals,” says Blancett, a resident of Alva, Florida. “I see a lot more wildlife now that I live near a river, especially fish, manatees and alliga- tors, which inspires me to paint them.” Burrowing Owl was commissioned for a fundraiser for Abuse Counseling & Treatment (ACT), an organization that assists victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. “It’s a great reward to know that my art benefits another person in some way,” says Blancett, a longtime supporter of ACT.

A former creative director in the advertising and publishing fields with a degree from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, Blancett serves as national art director for Natural Awak- enings. His work has been featured in numerous publications and galleries around the world, including recent exhibitions in Miami, London, Vienna and Strasbourg.

Visit the artist’s portfolio at

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