Are you ready to give composting a try? It’s a great way to turn kitchen food scraps and organic household disposables like leaves and grass clippings into a nutrient-rich organic material that will enrich your garden soil. Composting used to mean a big pen in the backyard. You can still compost this way, but now there are compost containers that allow you to create your compost anywhere – including right in the kitchen where your food scraps originate.
Composting bins come in all shapes and sizes, with capacities from 5 gallons to several hundred gallons. Crate and Barrel even makes a one gallon stainless steel designer composting pail that would be an attractive addition to any kitchen counter. Food scraps can be collected in the kitchen and then added to a larger compost bin or pile in the yard. A replaceable charcoal filter helps keep odors from decaying food from escaping into the house.
Here are some tips for getting started with composting.
• Aim for a mixture of 2 to 3 parts carbon-rich material to 1 part nitrogen-rich material. Carbon-rich, or “brown” material, includes dried leaves, shredded newspaper, twigs, saw dust and wood chips. Nitrogen-rich, or “green” material, includes pesticide-free grass clippings and leftover fruits and vegetables. Coffee grounds and eggshells can also be included. Note that meat scraps should not be used for composting.
• Start your compost pile with a brown layer, and then alternate layers of green and brown. If you’re not using a compost bin, always place a brown layer over green to avoid attracting insects to decaying food.
• Add enough water to the compost pile to keep it moist. Turning it occasionally with a pitchfork or compost aerator will speed up the decomposition process. With regular turning, in about 3 months you will have rich mixture, ready to add to potted plants or flower beds.
About the Author: Sarah is a Communications Manager for http://www.DiaperShops.com, one of the largest cloth diapering boutiques online. She writes for DiaperSwappers.com about how families can become more green and save money!