All posts by Kimi

Kimi is a sustainable community and business developer. She and her two fabulous sons are specially trained social and environmental justice advocates. Kimi speaks 5 languages including English, Spanish, Portuguese, Hebrew and Chinese and has travelled around the world.

We Need Honey Bees – Don’t Kill Them!

greenpeacebeesIf you find honeybees in your backyard or near your business and want to get rid of them, think a minute before picking up the phone to call an exterminator. Call a beekeeper instead! Some beekeepers will remove beehives in order to save those bees.

We need honeybees to pollinate plants so the food we eat will grow, but thanks to mass poisoning by pesticides and habitat destruction there are less bees available for this job than ever before. Fortunately, there is a growing community of local beekeepers who treasure these creatures and want to protect them.

Don’t try removing the hive yourself, as this can be dangerous.

Here are tips for finding a beekeeper who can remove your hive:

  • Do an internet search or check the Yellow Pages for Beekeeper or honey.
  • Contact your County’s Agricultural Extension Service. Although the Extension Services are affiliated with state agricultural universities, Extension offices are typically housed within a county building or park.
  • Ask your fire, police or health department. They may have lists of beekeepers who will take unwanted bees.

In the New York/New Jersey area, find registered beekeepers through:

American Beekeeping Federation:

Protected: The Bad News About Young Living Essential Oils

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Walmart Exploits Us

People I know are “liking” Walmart on Facebook – eww. Friends, Walmart is truly the “evil empire” – there’s nothing about them to like. In the US, Walmart promotes consumerism, underpays workers, exploits women and children, intentionally destroys local economies. In China, it negotiated contracts for workers to earn half of the 34¢ an hour considered a living wage there.

More at and

Bergen County selling compost bins for $53

Bergen County, N J is making it easy for residents to recycle yard and food waste by setting up a backyard compost bin in their backyards. This summer, Earth Machine™ home composting bins are being sold by the BCUA for only $53.00. This bin retails for over $100 at home improvement stores. The Earth Machine™ can be used to compost fruit and vegetable scraps, crushed eggshells, tea bags, coffee grounds and filters into mulch for your lawn and garden. Compost creates a rich, all natural soil nutrient for landscapes, gardens, and houseplants. Compost also enhances the ability of soil to retain moisture and can reduce your reliance on chemical fertilizers.

Buy your bin at the BCUA’s one-day compost bin sale on Saturday, June 25th at Bergen County Campgaw Mountain Reservation, 200 Campgaw Road, Mahwah, between the hours of 9:00am – 2:00pm, rain or shine. Or, by appointment at the BCUA facility. Payment is accepted in the form of check or money order. NO CASH! At the Mahwah sale, information will be provided on composting and recycling, and additional compost materials will also be available for sale.

To buy your bin at the BCUA office, call 201-807-5825 and push option 4. Low-cost rain barrels are also available. Visit for more information.

About Mulch & Compost

This resource will be updated to include new information as we find it.

Mulch is organic material on its way to become compost. Compost is fully decomposed mulch which has turned into really healthy soil. Compost is mixed with existing soil or spread on top to provide extra nutrients for plants, and mulch is laid on top of soil to create a barrier that helps keep soil moist. Over time, mulch used this way will itself degrade into soil.

Members of the Garden Web forum have this to say about the mulch v. compost debate:

The only advantage to adding a wood mulch over compost is to further suppress weed development. Compost tends to be a rather fertile seed bed and while a good layer of compost will suppress any underlying weed seeds, it simply provides a a very hospitable habitat for germinating windblown seeds. The good news is they are usually extremely easy to weed out as compost is generally quite loose and fluffy.

Otherwise . . . compost is just as efficient a mulch as bark or wood chips in moderating soil temperatures and conserving moisture and far more efficient in releasing nutrients. With any mulch, you need to apply 2-3 inches — any less will not have the same effectiveness and more is just a waste.
. . .
Any material you place on your soil to 1) aid in “weed” suppression, 2) aid in moisture retention, 3) aid in controlling soil temperature, and 4) aid in adding organic matter to your soil is mulch. I have no idea why some people distinguish between mulch, compost, and other stuff, or why people get so confused over what is a soil amendment and a mulch (the same material can be both).

Compost can be used as mulch and the sun beats down on the compost and dries it out which slows the bacteria that are digesting it, . . . covering that compost with another mulch material, ie. wood chips, will help keep the compost more moist and the bacteria more active.
Does compost spread over the garden need to be covered with another material? It is your choice. Do you want to keep that compost moist and the bacteria more active or are you okay with letting the sun dry that compost out?

Gardens Alive has good information as well.

Composting How To

Basically, there are two methods for composting:

HOT – where you turn ingredients, introducing air and creating heat which cooks the compost and turns it into soil in several weeks; and
COLD – where you add to a compost pile but don’t turn its contents. You just let it sit and allow time to do its work. In about 2 years you’ll have good, composted soil.

The University of Minnesota provides a detailed tutorial on which items, and how much of each, you can put into your compost and illustrates how to use three types of compost containers. The report discusses using a trash can for composting and here’s a discussion about some of this container’s pluses and negatives. More on bins here.

Take Florida’s Online Composting Center free tutorial “Compost Happens!” for a comprehensive, step by step lesson on the hows and whys of composting.


Mulching FAQ from Garden Web.