What is composting?
According to Illinois University, composting is, “the biological decomposition of organic material into a humus-like substance called compost. The process occurs naturally, but can be accelerated and improved by controlling environmental factors.”
The practice of composting can be traced back centuries with references dating as far back 1,000 years to the Akkadian Empire in the Mesopotamian Valley.
We compost by layering soil over organic materials such as a banana peel or grass clippings. The decomposition process is accelerated by heat and moisture. The nutrients from decomposing organic material seeps into the soil giving it additional nutritional value.
Why composting is important to sustainability
Not only is composting a worthwhile practice for farmers, it’s also helps create a sustainable future. The most obvious example being the reduction of waste that ends up in our trash cans. You can make a serious impact in reducing the level of waste sent to our landfills by putting organic materials into your compost instead of your trash can. If you stay consistent, you can reduce your waste impact by hundreds of pounds!
How to start
Step 1, spot your plot – You’ll want to choose a spot for your compost that’s close to your kitchen but far enough away so that the smell doesn’t reach your home. Also, make sure your compost is in a nice sunny spot.
Step 2, choose your receptacle – You can start your own compost with an old milk container or another receptacle made from plastic. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can create a larger compost (here’s a video with some instructions). We recommend taking 4 stakes and wrapping some chicken wire around them.
Step 3, set your base and begin! – set your base layer by placing 2-3 inches of soil above some plastic tarp. Once you have your base set, you can begin composting! A
A good rule of thumb to follow is to place anything organic into your compost. Certain items react better than others so you’ll have to learn what’s right for you given what waste you produce. Check our Instagram post below for a specific list of what items to put in and keep out of your compost!