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Why Composting Matters: Meet Tabitha Lee!

Tabitha Lee made a New Years Resolution to reduce the waste the she and her partner produce, but living in town in Traverse City complicated things. She reached out to SEEDS on Facebook, and one bucket of worms later, her kitchen composting operation was up and running!

Meet Tabitha Lee!

HOW DID YOU GET INTO COMPOSTING?

I grew up on a farm, so we always had a big compost pile growing up and we often took the rotted manure from our horses and spread that on our fields and my mother’s gardens. 

My mom had the most beautiful gardens in town, and so I always kind of knew that compost makes for the best growing conditions. As an adult, I have lived all over, and while I always tried to have a compost pile, sometimes I  didn’t have a yard or the space to do so. 

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO TAKE THE LEAP?

I read a great book called the Zero Waste Lifestyle, and determined that one of my big goals for 2024 was to reduce my waste as much as possible.  

Tabitha Lee poses with her vermicomposting bucket in her kitchen after she purchased worms from the SEEDS Farm to start home composting! She made a New Years Resolution to reduce her personal waste! 

Even though I was already quite mindful of my trash and I recycle everything I can, I wanted to take it a step further. I don’t like having an outdoor compost pile in town as I feel like it draws the skunks to my yard (which then turns into my dogs getting sprayed), so that is where the idea to start vermicomposting with worms came into play. I had a worm farm a few years prior, so I already knew how amazing they can be for breaking down food waste and producing the best fertilizer possible, it was just a matter of getting some wigglers and building another worm bin. I ended up building a simple five-gallon bucket tower for them and they can travel up through the buckets as I fill them with compost.

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO DO THAT WOULD MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE TO LIVE?

I think to truly make the world a better place, it takes more than one person. It takes conscientious policies and mass education on things that matter to our long-term success on this planet. If I had one wish, it would be that all children are taught about global warming and the devastating amount of trash we are producing as a society. I think children are the future and if they help to persuade their parents to make smart decisions for the Earth (like recycling, reducing convenience foods and single use plastics, etc), that will help push us towards a greener Earth and, ultimately, more time on this planet for future generations.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR PERSONAL GREEN GOALS?

  • Reduce the amount of trash I produce (Currently, we produce around 1.5 garbage bags a month for our household and looking to reduce even further).
  • Use my worm castings to nurture my house plants and help feed my partner and I with our small backyard garden.
  • Reduce the use of my car and try biking and walking for most errands.

WHAT WOULD YOU TELL OTHERS WHO ARE ON THE FENCE ABOUT COMPOST OR DON’T KNOW WHERE TO START?

Don’t delay and don’t overthink it! It doesn’t have to be complicated (a pile in an unused portion of your yard is a great start), and like I have found out, there are awesome, local resources like SEEDS to help answer any questions you have!

DID YOU NAME YOUR WORMS?

They are affectionately called “My Little Prospectors” as they are just mining for black gold all day and helping me and my plants! If I could somehow tell them apart enough to name them individually, I think the best worm name for a red wiggler would be Rusty Shakes. Or, if synonyms aren’t your thing, something simple like Walter D. Wiggler.

Schedule your visit to the SEEDS Compost Petting Zoo today!

Explore all 8 exhibits ranging from small home composters to industrial-sized and large-scale vessels:

  • Hügelkulture
  • Continuous Flow Tunnel
  • Johnson Su Bioreactor
  • 3-bin System
  • In-vessel system 
  • Tumbler 
  • Vermicomposting
  • Bokashi

ABOVE: The vermicomposting sign featured at the SEEDS Compost Petting Zoo at Historic Barns Park. Check out the park and learn more at the SEEDS Farm!