One of the most beautiful things about nature is that nothing is ever wasted. Fallen fruit and leaves naturally break down and enrich the soil helping new plants grow. The process of composting is more or less the same except that it involves kitchen scraps, a bin and some compost mix.
We think of composting as a way of giving back to the earth so it can stay healthy and bear more fruit to feed the future.
“The poetry of earth is never dead.”John Keats, ‘On The Grasshopper and the Cricket’
3 things that happen once you start composting:
- Your garbage bin won’t fill up as quickly as before because half your waste is getting recycled into nutrient-rich compost
- Your plants will thrive thanks to the compost you’ve been making at home
- If you share compost with your friends for their gardens, you will have lots of good vibes sent your way!
Apprehensive about beginning?
Our favourite part about composting is that no one needs a green thumb to do it! Just as it is with many skills in life, gardening just needs practice and patience. Use composting as a way to grow your confidence and we promise good things will follow. We truly believe that caring for nature is the greatest form of self-care and composting is an excellent place to start!
Here are the things you need and here’s what you do with them:
1. A compost bin
There are a number of compost bins available in the market in a range of different sizes and price points. Choose one that fits the bill. Then buy another one (this will make sense when you read the next section).
2. Green and brown ingredients
The ‘stuff’ that will get composted can be broadly divided into green and brown materials. Green materials include fruit and veg scraps, tea leaves and coffee grounds. Brown material would be hay, dead brown leaves, dried flowers. Green matter is rich in nitrogen and brown matter is rich in carbon, both these are important for composting. Add these to your bin as the need arises. Here’s a detailed list on what you should and shouldn’t include in your compost bins.
3. Compost soil
The role of compost soil is to prevent your compost from getting too wet, smelly and attracting fruit flies. You can mix in the required amount with your kitchen scraps to control the moisture level in your bin. Cocopeat powder works well too.
4. Air and water
Use a stick to stir the contents of your compost bin regularly. Letting air in helps the process. If you notice your compost getting too dry, then sprinkle a little water into the concoction.
When is your compost ready?
Typically, compost is ready for use about a month or a month and half after you put it in. So, while your compost bin is quietly working away, you can start filling the second bin (see we told you it would make sense). Most composters learn to figure out whether it’s ready or not with the texture and appearance. But if you want to get technical about it, the Daily Dump has put together 3 really simple ways to test your compost to see if it’s ready.
Myths About Composting
When someone says ‘decomposition’ our minds automatically imagine something icky, slimy and smelly. But that’s not always true. Leaves, twigs, insects are all decomposing around us without bothering us one bit. So while we have you here, there are some myths about composting that we want to bust:
Myth 1: It’s smelly and attracts flies.
If your compost is smelling, it’s because it’s too wet. Add some compost soil to it and give it a stir. This should get it back on track.
Myth 2: Composting is complicated.
We covered composting in 4 easy steps with minimal ingredients so how hard could it be? In fact, one of our favourite things about composting is that it happens on its own and you don’t need a lot of time or any special skill to do it!
Myth 3: It takes up a lot of space.
This depends entirely on you. You are in control of how big your compost bin is. Most households buy a bin to suit the amount of kitchen scraps they generate. These are made in a range of materials (including lovely terracotta) so you will find one that works for you!