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Starting a compost to feed your garden


Today I have vowed not to write a post about food. I figure writing about compost is a happy compromise. Compost is simply nutrient rich material that is the result of broken down organic matter. Convert those yard clippings, coffee grounds and vegetable peels into natural fertilizer for your garden. Home composters can be found at most home and garden centres, or contact your local municipality for more information. Many municipalities offer discounted rates for home composters or take yard clippings for municipal compost piles that provide soil for local parks. There are a few composter myths that I will try my best to clear up. No, compost does not smell (if properly maintained). No, it will not attract rodents (if done correctly and put in a rodent proof container). Composting is easy and gradually becomes a habit, just like putting recyclables in your blue box. Compost requires heat so it will be more active in the summer months than in the winter, when little happens. It’s easy. Just compost organic vegetable matter, coffee grounds and egg shells. Stay completely away from meat products and all other animal proteins of any type. Make sure the ratio of green (nitrogen based) vs. brown (carbon based) materials is right. It should be in the neighbourhood of 2 carbons to every nitrogen. Basically, veggies, coffee grounds, grass clippings and egg shells are nitrogen based, and fallen leaves, shredded paper and cardboard are carbon based. Tips: your bin seal should be tight, a drainage hole should prevent moisture problems, you need to give it a good stir now and then, and every layer of organic material should be covered with a thin layer of soil. This effort will result in improve soil structure and reducing your ecological footprint, along with not having to buy soil ever again. Composting: when breakdowns are a good thing.

4 comments:

The Redhead Riter said...

Don't you love the picture linky? My grandparents always had a compost pile in their back yard. That was one smelly place LOL

Natalie said...

I have a compost bin and have great success with it! But I won't be putting egg shells in there anymore...they take too much time to breakdown. Everything else though is fair game (except the things you mentioned!)

CrazySimpleLife said...

Great post! And I love the picture! I have never seen or been near a compost bin but it is an interesting concept!

The Fat Nutrition Writer said...

This is a great post - just in time for the garden I'm planning. I have a question and it may be dumb - but I don't quite get how I can tell if I'm getting the right nitrogen to carbon ratio. Can you explain? I want to make sure I do this right! I am also now following you back! www.fatnutritionwriter.blogspot.com

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