Now You See It, Now You Don’t Compost Container: A Close Look at Decomposition


Over the past 15 years or so, my wife and I have built a little suburban homestead for ourselves and our growing family. By growing I mean only one child. The rest of the clan comprises seven cats, a dog, two chickens, a bunny rabbit and upwards of 40,000 honey bees.

We have cultivated gardens, too, all over the yard, Permaculture gardens using cardboard and horse manure to create an incredibly fertile soil in which our plants can take root. There are vegetables, fruit-bearing trees and weird varieties of decorative plants, too. Our yard is a veritable jungle, with native plants covering a large percentage of our tiny plot. Mowing takes about 48 seconds.

All of this benefits from our compost heap in the far corner of the backyard. There we dump just about anything imaginable. Rotten fruit, bread, soup, shredded paper. Anything but heavy dairy products, which attract rodents. There we turn our leftovers into a wonderfully healthy fertilizer that we can spread over our gardens and feed the other, underground members of our family: red wigglers.

In other words, composting worms.


Our little girl loves to help us in the yard. She has her own tools and gloves, her own watering bucket and even her own tiny gardens in tiny containers. She gets it. This is important stuff we’re doing, being resourceful, growing our own food and giving a little bit back to the Earth that sustains us. And she’s proud of what she grows and cares for.

To help explain all of this to her, we have purchased a number of products that teach kids about caring for our environment and the creatures that inhabit it. Butterfly gardens, praying mantis colonies and carnivorous plant projects — they’ve all aided in real-time education. And now there’s this awesome item: The Now You See It, Now You Don’t See-Through Compost Container.

Invented by teacher Nancy Balter, the composter is a clear container that magnifies its contents, giving kids a clear view of the natural process of decomposition. There’s a faux grass top, holes for aeration and thermometers to monitor soil temps. It’s a hands-on way to get kids familiar with life cycles, and the process and importance of breaking things down.

Even our giant compost bin out back doesn’t give us a clear view of what’s happening during the process. Here we can watch it all happen, and explain to our child that nature is a constant cycle of built up and break-down. It’s happening all the time, right before our very eyes.

Pick up Educational Insights Now You See It, Now You Don’t See-Through Compost Container here.

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