Creating Life. – aka Composting.

Composting can be a little bit intimidating if you’ve never done it before. You may be worried about the smell, the labor, attracting pests, or simply not doing it right.

Well, there is a way to avoid all of these worries, and it’s actually pretty simple!

I believe composting is more of an art than science. So, just have fun with it.

The Basics

Composting involves the combination of “brown” and “green” materials. Here’s a list of what these materials actually might be:

Brown = Bark mulch, dried plant waste (leaves, stalks, stems), household paper (napkins, paper towels, mail, newspaper), straw or hay, wood chips or branches.

Green = Manure (chicken, cow, horse, sheep, goat), coffee grounds/tea leaves, food scraps, garden waste (except diseased or seed), grass clippings, seaweed/kelp, eggshells.

Don’t get too worried about the ratio of brown to green. Some resources say you need a really specific ratio. Again, this is more of art than science; it doesn’t have to be perfect. To speed up decomposition, add more green. If it starts to smell or get slimy or wet, add more brown.

Here are some things to avoid = Pet waste, animal/fish products, glossy paper like some magazines, bones, hair, large pieces of wood, or seeds.

Finally – Just add water & air. Your compost is a living, breathing thing. You’ll want to give it water every so often when it is looking dry. You’ll also have to turn it with a pitchfork of shovel to allow air into the compost to help it breath. I highly recommend a compact compost tumbler like this one from Home Depot. This will be the best for easy turning and keeping away uninvited pests. It also is small enough to be used on a small property or patio. I, personally, just an old storage container and kick it around or give it a big shake every week or so. You can also just dig a whole or build a three-bin composting station. The bins are for (1) stockpile product, (2) building up a pile, and (3) finished, usable compost.

Compost is really low maintenance, requiring only 10 minutes a week of attention.

Thank you to bqlt.org for the image, and Acadia Tucker’s Growing Good Food for the composting information.

The benefits are endless, from your own property’s health, and also impacting global climate.

Do you compost? Why or why not? Let me know in the comments!

As always,

In Soil We Trust,

Tiffany

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