Saturday, June 12, 2010

Compost: Nature's Recycle Depot

If you've ever thrown out a banana peel, coffee grounds or lawn clippings, you're missing out on a great resource.

Composting your kitchen and yard waste reduces your weekly garbage, and provides a valuable resource that you can use in your garden.

Enough recycling and composting could help keep municipal garbage tonnage costs down, saving taxpayer money.

If you haven't started already, it's easy to get going, and the microorganisms will do most of the work, once you set up the system. You could buy a commercial composter, or build one with plans you can find in books or on the internet.

Try to place the compost pile close to the kitchen. You will be making lots of trips to the pile with your compost pail. The more convenient it is, the quicker your trips will be.

You need a balance of materials containing carbon and nitrogen. Try to get a carbon to nitrogen ratio of about 30:1, and keep it moist but not wet, at about the consistency of a wrung out sponge.

You probably won't have to empty the composter for quite a while, as it will break down the organic matter you contribute. It's nearly a bottomless pit for organics.

You could fill books on how to compost, and every gardener seems to have a slightly different method. If you keep things simple and aren't in much of a hurry you can't go too far wrong. If you get stuck, ask someone you know who composts for advice.

Healthy compost piles don't stink. If your pile smells though, it means something is out of balance and it needs attention. Whether that means aerating the pile, turning it, or putting some more carbon containing elements on the pile.

Composted organics get to stay in the natural cycle and return to the soil. Landfilled organics don't break down, They stay stuck in the landfill. The nutrients in that cycle keep us alive. Keeping the soil healthy is an important step to keeping us in nutritious food.

Remember, composting is nature's recycle depot. It's is an easy way to reduce your garbage while creating a resource that can really help out your garden.

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1 comment:

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