Getting Started Composting

Windfall apples
GARDEN TOWER PROJECT > Gardening > Getting Started Composting

Fall is the best time to build soil for the garden. Understanding why can help you create better compost for your home!

Compost is the rich, fertile soil created by letting organisms that live in the soil break down organic matter produced in your home and garden. It is soil formation concentrated in one area. When rich, fertile compost is ready, you spread it on places where it will do the most good. By composting, you participate in the cycles of life by increasing the natural wealth around you. In fall, when the leaves are falling, nature builds soil fastest.

Benefits of Composting

  • Soil conditioning
  • Recycling yard and kitchen waste
  • Introducing beneficial organisms throughout your garden
  • Helping the environment
  • Reducing landfill waste

All of this builds your natural capital. Some people recognize your true wealth as equal to the health of your land. If your household eats a balanced and varied diet, and when you compost your kitchen scraps, you will introduce a variety of nutrients and trace elements into your garden that will make your plants healthier. Composting your kitchen scraps might seem like pennies in the bank, but it makes a huge difference in the long run.

There are many ways to create compost. See which one of these works for you!

 

  • Build compost piles right on the soil, and cover or enclose them. Periodically turn the pile to aerate it, which will create aerobic bacteria to break the matter down. Water your compost piles to keep soil organisms happy, and keep them covered to keep moisture in the pile.
  • Vermicomposting is a method of including worms in the compost pile to break down the matter and create worm castings. An animal’s function in a system is to create greater fertility. Worms are some of the best creatures you could find. Worm castings are some of the most valuable fertilizers in the world. Vermicomposting systems are excellent for kitchen scraps. Worms can process the material quickly and handle the volume produced by small kitchens. Vermicomposting in a container limits access to skunks, opossums, raccoons and other unwelcome visitors.

These two systems used together for yard waste and for kitchen scraps can be the best of both worlds and help to create a more resilient landscape around you. Happy soil-building this fall!

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