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At Home Compost

How do you actually do this?

Composting is a great way to recycle organic waste generated at home. Recycling food and other organic waste into compost provides a range of environmental benefits, including improving soil health, helping the soil retain carbon dioxide therefore reducing greenhouse gas emissions and conserving landfill space. Plus the end product, what farmers call ‘black gold’, can then be used around your own property again!

When I started learning about regenerative agriculture, I dove head first into composting.

Composting can seem overwhelming at first but it doesn’t need to be complicated.

I started with a 5-gallon wine juice bucket that I drilled holes in for aeration. Then I had two buckets and I soon realized I needed a BIG bin. My husband took initiative and built me a compost bin out of a pallet. While it’s nothing fancy, it gets the job done. This is still the same compost bin I have to this day.

I’m incredibly thankful to be so close in proximity to Rodale Institute. Rodale Institute is widely recognized as a founder of the modern organic movement, and has been a global leader in regenerative organic agriculture for over 70 years. The year I started composting Rodale hosted an event in which their master composter would be there. I had told him I’m just starting out and feeling a little lost and he said, “Just toss everything in there.” “That’s it?” “Yup.”

So that’s what I’ve been doing the last 2 years and let me tell you…IT’S BEEN SO SATISFYING! As much as I hate to admit it, we end up with a lot of food waste at our house. I feel so much better about at least being able to give it back to the Earth.

So. How do I do it?

  1. My husband bought me a mini-compost bin to keep under the sink and this thing is been a game changer. It makes it especially easy to keep up with my compost during the cold months when I don’t want to have to run outside every time I need to discard something.

  2. When this fills up, I dump it into my 5-gallon bucket right outside my deck (Yes! The same bucket I started with over 3 years ago!) I always have the bottom of the bucket filled with some kind of brown material. Usually dried leaves, shredded paper or hay (or any mix of them)

  3. Once the 5-gallon bucket is full, I dump that into my pallet compost bin in the back of my property.

  4. I use the lasagna method of composting. So first I mix and aerate what’s already in the bin. Then I put a new, fresh layer of brown materials and leave a little divot in the middle to dump the green materials in (green = everything in the 5-gallon bucket)

  5. Completely cover the green materials with brown materials again.

  6. That’s it!!

You may also be wondering what is this brown and green materials you speak of. You can google what’s compostable but here is what most of my brown and green materials consist of:

Brown Materials:

  • Dried leaves/plants (only non-diseased plants)

  • Hay

  • Shredded mail

  • Newspaper

  • Home Goods Paper (The paper they use to wrap breakables. Ladies, I KNOW you know what I’m talking about!)

  • Dryer Lint

  • Paper Towels

  • Cotton Swabs

Green Materials:

  • Coffee Grinds (Filter included!)

  • Food Scraps (They say not to, but I add fats and dairy. I do not do meat and/or bones as I do worry about my pup getting into or other critters)

  • Grass Clippings

As you can see…composting doesn’t need to be expensive! I think I spent less that $25 for 3 years worth of composting. The mini-composter was less than 20 and I bought a bale of hay for $5 and that has gone a long way.

DM me on Instagram and let me know if you’re going to start composting!


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