Should You Compost??


Composting is a topic that comes up a lot in the zero waste world. It is a perfect way to solve the problem of fruit and vegetables waste. Lots of times when you look up how to compost the tutorials make it seem like you need a farm or a big backyard to do it. I'm here to tell you that anyone can do it. 

I live in a town home with an outdoor patio and when I first thought about getting a compost I was wondering how I could keep it from getting stinky. The coolest part about a compost is if you do it right and you have a good balance then it should not stink! How cool is that? 

When picking out which container to put your compost in look for something big enough to hold the amount of scraps you produce, something you are comfortable drilling holes in, and something with a lid. We went with a trash can we no longer used that had a lid. 

Once you have picked out which container you are going to use. Drill 3 holes a little smaller than quarters on the bottom and 2 on the sides then prop it up on some bricks. This will ensure good drainage. (Later on if you find that the compost is not retaining enough water you can line the bottom with a burlap sack)

After you have set up your compost area you can start filling it. First put in nutrient dense soil. The soil can be compost from previous batches, bagged soil, or soil from a nursery.

Next you are going to add the browns and greens to your compost. This is a very important step because the browns are what keeps your compost from smelling. The rule of thumb is 50% brown and 50% green by volume. Because browns weight a lot less than green produce, it is recommended to add 3 buckets of brown for every 1 bucket of green.  Browns include toilet paper rolls, paper towel rolls, shredded paper, brown paper bags, dead leaves and limbs, wood shavings, and cotton fabric. Greens include fruit and vegetables scraps, coffee grounds, tea bags, egg shells, grass clippings, and used soap nuts. 

Lastly put a lid on it and let the magic happen. In florida I have been told you do not need to stir the compost because the heat will compost everything in 30 days. However I stir my to ensure that it is completely decomposing. Some areas of the country you might have to stir it more often than others but use your discretion.

Brandi Kneip