You can compost too

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Kitchen waste and grass clips in compost box (pallets)

Composting turns kitchen scraps into black gold

by Betsy Voorhies

EXCERPT

Building materials you can use can include discarded wooden pallets, horse fencing or chicken wire. Compost piles should be at least 3 feet high by 3 feet wide and 3 feet long in order to work efficiently. Composting requires three key activities: aeration, by turning the compost pile; moisture, and the proper carbon to nitrogen ratio. Attention to these elements will raise the temperature to around 130 degrees Fahrenheit to140 degrees Fahrenheit, and ensure rapid decomposition.

To begin, create a stockpile of leaf and grass clippings (mowing with a bag attachment is a great way to acquire these and keeps your yard debris out of the land fill). Your compost pile is a great place to recycle used potting soil from dead or transplanted potted plants. I keep my organic material in large nursery pots next to the compost bin.

To start your compost; begin with a 6” layer of dry organic material (the leaf/grass clippings and old soil). Next add a layer of green stuff such as vegetables, fruit scraps, banana peels, egg shells and even unbleached paper towels. After every layer, water the pile well and keep it moist for best results. If you have chickens, horses, cows or any herbivorous animal, their manure can also be added at this point.

Keeping a covered pail in your kitchen makes it easy to collect your kitchen scraps. Make sure, no meat, oil, cheese, dairy or anything that is not plant-based gets into the kitchen scrap pail. You can find wonderful pails at garden centers or online at gardening websites.

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.