Why You Should Compost & How to Do it
I recently started composting this year - and I have to say - it is AWESOME! There are so many wonderful benefits and I feel great reducing the amount of waste I put into my community and the environment. Best of all - it is so easy and convenient. I love turning my organic waste into healthy, rich soil that my garden loves! Here are some benefits to consider before I breakdown how to do it:
Composting can reduce your household waste by 30%
Helps regenerate new soil packed with nutrients for your garden!
Prevents against plant disease
Reduces your use of harmful chemical fertilizers
Supports water retention in soil - cutting your costs and usage of water
Cuts down on the fuel and energy that would be normally used to process the waste you are now composting
You can recycle leaves, branches, plant clippings, fruits, coffee grounds & coffee filters, tea bags, vegetables, bread, grains, paper products (including napkins, paper towels, paper bags, and food-soiled paper). Exclude fish, meat, milk products, non-herbivore manure, and plants with diseases.
There are many different styles of composting, I will share the one that works best for me. First of all, to save myself from going to the compost every time I have food scraps of some kind, I purchased this little handy-dandy 1.3 Gallon Epica Stainless Steel Compost Bin:
I live in a home with two other people, and we usually empty it once a week. It is really satisfying to see the accumulation of waste that you would normally throw away be used for a good cause that actually benefits the environment! So when I empty it, I put it in this EJWOX Garden Compost Bin Tumbler, 43 Gallon Capacity with 2 Chambers Dual Rotating Composting Tumbler:
It has two chambers, so that while one is “cooking” I can use the other one. It also rotates so that the dried leaves that I add (so that my compost doesn’t get too mushy) get mixed in really well. It was pretty easy to assemble and I made sure to put it in an area that gets plenty of sunlight because the heat helps it process faster.
Nearby I have a compost pile, where the compost goes once it has been tumbling for a few weeks. I added worms and water the pile every now and then to further the process. This creates beautiful, black, rich soil! So whenever I am planting something new I add some of this soil. When plants are diseased, it is usually a sign of poor soil quality (their dropping leaves / attraction of bugs is a sign that they are trying to add more nutrients to the soil) so any time I add my compost it makes a huge difference and they perk up again! Also keep in mind that every time you plant something, it is drawing vitamins and minerals from the soil, so it is important to keep rotating crops as well as replenishing the earth they grow in.
It is essential that we reconnect with mother earth and do our best to source local food for the sake of our own health and for the health of the planet. Typically, the closer the food is grown, the higher in nutrients it is (produce for grocery stores is usually picked when it’s green, preventing it from getting the full amount of nutrients it would normally have as it ripens) and it is better for the environment (again, reducing fuel costs, packaging, etc.) So if you don’t have space for a compost, which I understand many people don’t, I urge you to at least get a percentage of your produce from local farmer’s markets and support your community! We vote with our dollar, and the higher demand there is for local, organic produce, the more affordable and prevalent it will become.
I hope this post inspired some of you to compost, and all of you to try to eat more locally! :)