home, nature

compost


this afternoon, i had the immense pleasure of spreading a bunch of homemade compost onto my garden beds. composting is one of my favorite homestead activities. i love it so dearly because it mimics the rhythms of nature. composting is also easy, and anyone with a tiny bit of land can do it! even if you live in apartment, you can still have an indoor worm bin to make compost with! i am lucky enough to have two compost piles.

there are a million reasons why composting is important and awesome. first and foremost, composting removes organic waste from your trashcan and landfill, and puts it to use in your backyard. our landfills are overburdened, so reducing our waste is the responsible thing to do. you can compost so many things – paper products, cotton fabrics, and of course, food scraps and waste (just no meat or cheese, please!).

the three r’s are, in order: reduce, reuse, recycle. composting reduces waste. composting is recycling, but better! it’s called carbon or nutrient cycling – all the organic things that can be composted (paper and foods) once started as plants, fungi, or some other living thing. that living thing grew because of nutrients and minerals in the soil. and guess where those things come from? rotting organic matter! by composting, you are effectively creating this natural cycle in your backyard. i always think of how cool it is to be growing food in compost that was made from scraps of food you grew during the previous season. the circle of life, yo!

composting also produces free fertilizer! even if you don’t have a large garden, you could simply put your compost in a container and throw some herb seeds in it! i bet you they will sprout.

composting also invites all sorts of good guys to your yard, including beneficial insects and – my favorite – fungi! fungi are nature’s number one decomposers, and you can bet there will be some sort of saprotrophic (rotting) fungus in your compost pile.

composting is really easy, despite the many, detailed instructions you will find about it on the internet and in gardening books. sure – there are certain techniques that will help you create compost faster, or more efficiently. but i’m a lazy gardener. i simply throw my scraps in a pile. i got all fancy and added cinderblocks around mine, but that’s unnecessary. when i think of it, or if i notice lots of flies around the pile, i spread a thin layer of dirt over the top of the waste, then cover that with dead leaves. sometimes i go a whole month between the layering, though. i water the pile whenever i think about it. the amazing this is that the food will rot sooner or later! it’s just nature’s way.

 

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