Composting is so much easier than it looks. Things like worm-farming and bin-composting to seeing bowls of table scraps in the freezer can turn you right off of starting to compost. Don’t worry, it’s easier than it sounds – and looks.
First off, decide on how you’re going to compost.
Are you going to keep a bin under the sink and have a company pick it up for you? This option is great for apartment dwellers and those who don’t have a huge yard or just don’t want to deal with composting. Or, perhaps you live in Toronto and already have 5 raccoon friends and your social calendar is full up. Whatever the reason to have a company pick up your compost, it makes composting easy.
Bonus: the composting company SHOULD be able to take meat and dairy scraps. You don’t want to be adding that to your own at-home compost pile because 1. It doesn’t get hot enough to break down and 2. You’ll attract all kinds of animals. You’re already going to be attracting tons of critters with your compost pile, no need to add any more to your yard.
Will you buy a composting bin that is kept outside and easy to use with fancy handles and turning and all kinds of gizmos?
Will you just keep a heap and turn it every so often, letting nature get really nitty gritty?
Pick the option that works for you. Living a more eco-friendly lifestyle doesn’t have to have you fighting your normal lifestyle; it should be complementing it. Maybe you like to compost in the summer, but loathe the idea of going outside with your table scraps in the winter. Cool. That means you could easily have a compost company pick up your scraps all year, saving some for your garden in the warmer months.
If you’re choosing your at-home composting route, then follow these easy-peasey steps:
Get your greens and your browns together, layering them as you start out.
your greens: grass; vegetables; fruits; coffee grounds; egg shells; tea bags and leaves; plants that aren’t dry
your browns: leaves; cardboard; newspapers; twigs and branches (small); dryer lint; straw or hay; sawdust; paper napkins; compostable plates and cutlery and the like.
DO NOT put weeds in your compost. A regular backyard compost won’t get hot enough to kill the seeds. You’ll just get more weeds.
Pile them up with browns on the bottom, then some greens, then some more browns, then a few more greens, then just for fun, add some browns, again. You get it? Brown, green, brown green, then add whatever you end up with to get your compost on.
While your organics will break down just sitting there, composting needs a bit more to get it going and turn it into that black gold you see all over Pinterest.
Compost needs water. Like everything in the world. So, if your pile is just hanging out for all to see, nature will do its thing and the rain will fall onto your lovely pile of rotting scraps.
Using a bin? Tea bags that are still wet, the last bits of coffee, things that get soggy real quick (what’s up cucumbers), those things will add water to your compost.
Keep it turning. Turn your compost, weekly or bi-weekly, with a pitchfork or by spinning your bin. (don’t worry, this isn’t some kind of party trick, you’ll have a handle for a compost tumbler).
When your compost doesn’t look like a heap of garbage, but looks like some Rich Earthy Goddess, mix it into your garden and watch all your plants grow, happily getting their nourishment!