Big (Green) Deal: TILT Event Educates Children on Compost

Originally written for the Watertown Daily Times by Amanda Taylor, who covered TILT’s (Com)Post-Halloween event at Zenda Farm Preserve over the weekend.

Christopher A. Nevala, 7, smashes leftover Halloween pumpkins with a mallet during the (Com)Post Halloween event at Zenda Farms in Clayton on Saturday afternoon. Photo by Amanda Morrison for the Watertown Daily Times.

TILT Event Educates Children on Compost

CLAYTON — Creating a manageable compost heap is not as difficult as many may believe.

“It’s quite simple and should not be intimidating to anyone,” Corinne M. Mockler said.

Ms. Mockler is the coordinator of education and outreach for the Thousand Islands Land Trust. The group organized a (Com)post Halloween on Saturday to educate children and their families on maintaining a compost heap.

“A lot of families have gardens, but we’re not sure how much kids are involved in the gardening or if they are aware of the fact that anything can be composted,” Ms. Mockler said.

People were invited to bring their leftover pumpkins and jack-o’-lanterns to Zenda Farms at 38973 Zenda Road and smash them up in a wooden box with a shovel. The pumpkin pieces were combined with old leaves to create compost that will be used in the spring on TILT’s Community Garden.

“Who can resist? You get rid of grass, old jack-o’-lanterns and kids get to go around and smash stuff,” she said.

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GRE(v)EN(ts): (Com)Post-Halloween November 10th with TILT


(Com)Post-Halloween is based on an annual event my Permaculture teacher, Claudia Joseph, hosts at the Old Stone House in Brooklyn. This will be my first time hosting it through TILT and in this community, but based on what I’ve heard so far, the buzz is abuzz and I should expect a good turnout. I mean, kids get to smash pumpkins into pulp and parents get rid of the rotting Jack-o-lanterns from their front porches – everybody wins!


Trick or (Healthy) Treat

While I personally see no problem handing out candy during the H’ween party I’m hosting at the Five Birch Perch later tonight,* I can understand not wanting to load up neighborhood trick-or-treaters with the sweet stuff. The folks over at Green Halloween (which I’ve blogged about before) suggest the following as candy replacements:

– Honey sticks

100% Fruit leather

– Polished rocks


Soy or beeswax crayons

Glass beads


Play doh (store-bought or homemade)

I agree with handing out stickers or other art supplies – especially if they’re Halloween related and or/educational. And although I love the concepts, I think the significance of seeds would be lost on kids, and they would probably ignore the fruit leathers or any other healthy/homemade snack. I definitely don’t agree with the idea of glass beads, or anything that could be mistaken for something edible – that just sounds like trouble to me.

Shirley Siluk Gregory over at Green/Simple Living suggests “treats like fair-trade chocolate, organic cookies and other treats appropriate for  Halloween giving. Global Exchange’s Fair Trade online store, for example,  features bags of fair-trade gold chocolate  coins while Endangered Species Chocolate sells organic milk-chocolate Bug  Bites.”

However you choose to celebrate, have a Happy Halloween!

*I’m pretty pleased with my decorating skills, but for future parties I think I may want to start focusing on a specific theme, a la the spooky genius over at  My Ghoul Friday.

Garfield Halloween screenshot from Trakt