Turn your kitchen scraps into “black gold” and make your own compost. Compost is the super-rich, crumbly soil that is made when dead plants and leaves are broken down by worms and microorganisms and it is super-rich fertilizer for your plants and trees. To make compost, save organic waste—vegetable and fruit parts, coffee grounds, tea, eggshells, brown paper products, grass and plant clippings. Do not add animal leftovers, dairy products, oils or waste.
Set up a three-sided stall or purchase a recycled plastic tumbling composter. (An added benefit to a tumbling composter is that it allows you to collect liquid fertilizer as well as the solid compost. Liquid fertilizer is great for indoor and outdoor plants.) Composting requires four elements to work: oxygen, water, carbon and nitrogen. Carbon is created from brown or dry materials such as brown paper bags, newspapers and leaves. Nitrogen is created from green or wet materials like fruit and vegetables, weeds and plants.
If you set up a stall for your compost, alternate layers of browns and greens, add some water, and cover with a tarp. With a tumbler, everything goes in and you roll it around. Add water as needed. Microbes will eat the mixture and the temperature heats up as material is broken down. When the pile cools to ninety or one hundred degrees, it is done and you have rich compost!
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