Composting is the transformation of organic material (plant matter) through decomposition into a soil-like material called compost. Who helps facilitate? Invertebrates (insects and earthworms) and microorganisms (bacteria and fungi) Why Compost? Yard and food waste make up approximately 30% of the waste stream in the United States… Turn kitchen and yard waste into ‘black gold’ and keep it out of the landfill and your garbage disposal!
It’s all about the Carbon-to-Nitrogen (C:N) ratios Compost = Air + Water + 2 Parts Browns + 1 Part Greens ‘Browns’ (high in carbon) = ash, wood, cardboard, leaves, newspaper, peanut shells, pine needles, sawdust, straw and wood chips ‘Greens’ (high in nitrogen) = grass clippings, food waste, garden waste, coffee grounds, manure*, seaweed, vegetable scraps, weeds RULE OF THUMB: If the compost pile needs moisture, add ‘greens’; if it has an odor to it, add ‘browns’
Passive Composting (Anaerobic) Slow to decompose, but still nature takes its course Requires little maintenance Good for leaf molds Active Composting (Aerobic) Can create rich soil in as little as two to six weeks Requires aeration, moisture and proper carbon to nitrogen ration (C:N) Vermicomposting Breakdown of organic waste using earthworms Worm castings
Counter-top canisters Corner of back yard Attractive/enclosed bins Vermicomposting can be done indoors or on a patio / porch Community Gardens
Fruit and vegetable waste (cut to small pieces) Coffee grounds Tea bags Egg shells Nut shells Flowers / garden waste Potting soil Paper towels / cardboard AVOID: meat, dairy, cooked foods, diseased plants, yard waste with chemicals, weeds gone to seed, pet waste