COMPOSTING


Image by joephoto

Composting means recycling organic material to the soil, which produced the organic material in the first place.  The byproduct is compost, or decomposed plant matter that turns into a dark, soil-like humus and makes an incredibly rich (and free!) organic fertilizer. It adds nutrients to the soil and improves soil structure, eliminating the need for high nitrogen-based chemical fertilizers.  Compost produces thriving, pest resistant plants.  

You can compost all organic matter – kitchen waste, grass clippings, and yard waste including leaves.  When composting kitchen waste, avoid meat and dairy, which attract scavengers.  Also, don’t add weeds or grass clippings that have been treated with chemicals. Coffee grounds, eggshells, and even hair are great for the compost pile.

 

I keep a compost bucket with a charcoal filter (to prevent odors from escaping) in my kitchen sink, which we then add to the compost pile in the backyard. You can buy compost bins on line or from garden centers that cost approximately $30 – $100, but you can easily build your own. It takes about a year before the organic materials are broken down and ready to add to your garden soil. Regularly turning the pile and occasionally adding a compost inoculant to help break down organic material speeds up the process, but isn’t necessary.  Just think of all the waste you will keep out of the landfill!

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