Let it Rot!
Composting at Home
“Every morsel, including potato peel and pea shucks, was carried to the compost heap.” ~Punch
Composting is simply the process of allowing organic materials like food waste (our table scraps, minus the bones, meat and dairy products) and yard waste (grass, leaves, weeds and brush) to decompose and be returned back to the soil where it can be beneficial to gardens for added organic and nutrient matter. Composting at home can be as simple or elaborate as you want it to be.
Your compost pile can be just that, a pile or heap on the ground. For decomposition to happen we need air, moisture, and organic matter, which then invites decomposers.
Microbes like fungi, bacteria and invertebrates all help to break down organic materials. Mix it up with brown material and green material to provide a good carbon:nitrogen ratio. Anything organic has a certain amount of carbon and nitrogen in its tissues. Carbon basically provides energy to the decomposers, nitrogen helps build their bodies.
This sounds high tech but it’s really talking about the browns being dry brown material like dead leaves, sawdust or twigs. The greens are grass clippings, fruits and vegetable scraps. You want a good balance of materials. Keep it stirred up to break up materials and allow air throughout, add moisture when needed (like a damp sponge) and the rest happens pretty much on its own.
OSU Extension, libraries and the Internet can supply you with all the information you can possibly use to design a composting program that is best for you!
According to the Environmental Protection Agency
about 25% of our household waste consists of food and yard waste.
That’s a substantial amount of waste that could be diverted from the landfill simply by composting instead of throwing it away!