Composting Saves the Day!
Fruits and vegetables are only as good as the soil in which they grow. Back in the old days the soil contained more minerals and nutrients. Plants don’t create their own nutrients, they take it from the soil. Eventually the soil runs low of nutrients, that is why it is so important to put organic nutrients back into the soil. Composting is especially beneficial when farming on land that is repeatedly being used to grow food crops.
Most households generate a generous amount of compost every day. The kitchen produces an abundance of Coffee Grounds, Tea grounds, Egg Shells, Banana Peels and many other fruit and veggie scraps. When deciding to compost you can make it as complicated or as simple as you want. For the sake of this blog I will share three of the simplest ways that I know.
1. Dig a hole and throw it in. Either cover the hole with dirt or an upside down trash can to keep critters and pets out of it.
2. Start a pile. The beginning of the pile can be grass clippings, small sticks and twigs and then garden waste. If you want to make better but more complicated compost, add some dirt from the yard to the pile. This way is likely to attract rats so keep this away from your home. In the spirit of being a good neighbor, this is not an option unless you live on a couple of acres.
3. Make a large compost basket. This can be done by building a frame on top of a pallet. and wrapping the frame with a wire mesh. Chicken wire works and is a more affordable option as opposed to a hardware cloth.
Eventually, the kitchen waste will start breaking down and voila… BLACK GOLD. Collect this magical substance and use it to re-enrich the soil in your garden. This DIY recipe is more affordable and Eco friendly than purchasing this stuff in plastic bags. We don’t love plastic bags, do we? Sometimes the compost that is available for purchase has to be shipped a long way to get here. Why do that to the environment when we can make it ourselves, for free, without plastic packaging and no need to haul it home.
It is also worth mentioning that store bought products are expensive. Even the non organic soil is expensive, and most of these non organic soil products contain chemical fertilizers, which may endanger local plant and wildlife. This type of gardening kind of defeats the point, right?
Homemade compost will attract beneficial earthworms and insects to the garden. Compost also helps the garden to maintain ideal moisture levels. Intuitively, I feel the garden where we grow our food is the wrong place to conduct a toxic chemistry experiment. That being said, I will only buy garden products from companies that show their respect for the planet in their entire product line. Voting with our dollars is very effective. I like the Black Gold and Happy Frog Products I get from Haiku Hardware & Garden, this is a locally owned business and they are always willing to help me find the safe garden products I require.
Composting not only benefits our soil, but by not sending compostable items to the landfill, garbage trucks will make fewer trips to the landfill or dump, resulting in less fuel consumption. Less fuel consumption is always a benefit. Less stuff in the landfill is also a huge environmental step in the right direction. And beautiful soil means beautiful gardens that provide beautiful food to wonderful people living their best life imaginable.
This is a win win win !
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