Why You Should Compost Food Scraps

 Why You Should Compost Food Scraps

Composting is a natural and green way to recycle waste and turn it into usable soil. Whether you need top-notch soil for your flowers or to propagate your garden, fertilizing is a natural, easy and inexpensive way to do it. The only thing you need is some kind of container for your compost.

Also, a properly maintained compost pile will have no odor, as long as you follow a few simple maintenance steps.

1. Decide on Your First Compost Bin

There are many different ways to compost. Choosing the right compost bin or container depends on the type of climate you live in and how much space you have indoors and outdoors.

Create an outdoor composting area

Compost bins are a convenient place to put your food waste. But if you have room, a compost “zone” is actually a good way to compost food scraps and grass clippings.

You may need some fencing or something to discourage pests, but otherwise leave it open. Let it spread in areas you don't use. This allows for maximum aerobic activity, as well as easy maneuvering with a shovel or pitchfork.

Build your own compost bin

I made my own compost bin, and I encourage you to do the same, hopefully using recycled resources. However, a “vertical” cake like mine is difficult to fold properly. A rotating compost bin takes care of this problem but cannot hold the same amount of waste.

My first compost bin was a hollow liquid container. I think it's rated for about 40 gallons. I was planning to use it to collect rainwater but decided to compost it instead. These large liquid containers are so useful for so many things, I'll be picking up a few for different projects, including more compost bins.

To make the compost bin, I cut off the top to make it easier to put grass clippings in. If I'm only going to use it for kitchen waste, I'll cut a small hole in the top.

Then I took a drill bit and drilled several holes, spaced a few inches apart, all around the box and at the top and bottom. This allows composting bacteria to breathe, which is essential for effective composting.

You don't want the holes to be too large, or the fertilizer will seep through. Make it large enough to allow air to circulate. Warm composting is done using aerobic bacteria, so air flow in and out is very important. It took a while to dig them all up, but it's important to let your compost breathe.

2. Learn How to Compost Correctly

The reason you make compost is because bacteria break down the plant material you put in there. These bacteria are aerobic and require oxygen. It's possible to have an anaerobic compost pile, but it's slow, and you usually can't get to the compost once it's broken down.

Turn Your Compost

So, since these little guys need oxygen, you should turn your compost periodically to aerate it. If you build your own box, you have to allow airflow somehow. I punched holes in the side of my first cake from top to bottom. I've read that placing the pile on top of a wooden board helps with airflow.

Add Sugar if Needed

If you want to speed things up, you can add some sugar to the mixture. But as long as you maintain a steady flow of kitchen scraps, your compost pile should be fine. Try to find a fairly dry place, perhaps in the shade. The compost pile may give off some heat, which is normal.

3. Learn What You Can and Can't Compost

You can compost almost anything plant-based, even shredded cheesecloth (although these take a little longer and need to be shredded).

What Can I Compost?

I regularly add banana peels, romaine stems, and tomato tops to my food. Grass clippings make up most of my thinking about compost. Leaves and sticks do not work immediately. They should be aged for two summers for better compost.

Fruit and vegetable peels
Coffee grounds
Tea leaves and tea bags

What Can not I Compost?

Leftover meat and fat (will attract fly larvae, or "maggots" or "maggots," more accurately called black soldier fly larvae, or BSFL.)
Inorganic fibers such as rayon and polyester (will not compost)
Plastic (will not compost)
Styrofoam (meal bugs may be able to decompose Styrofoam).
Other inorganic materials

A black soldier fly bin can be set up to handle meat and grease/grease residue but will require different maintenance than a compost bin. It can be used to get rid of almost any food scraps but will leave the bones behind. Grind the bones and spread them on your cans. The larvae produced can be used to feed poultry or reptiles and provide some important nutrients that are not digested, such as calcium.

Use a Container to Collect Daily Food Scraps

I reuse my 3 lb sour cream tub to collect my scraps and coffee grounds. I like to reuse things I already own and recycle them as much as possible.

I encourage you to find something you can reuse to collect your scraps.

4. Add Worms!

Although different from traditional hot composting, vermicomposting is another option. Although there was an initial "gross" factor, I've come to enjoy taking care of my little spaghetti friends.

Worm composting or vermicomposting is a great way to create beneficial compost for your garden. There are five main types of insects that are used to make compost. The most common is the red wobbler or trout worm. The European nightcreeper is larger but slightly slower to fertilize than the red creeper.

Blue wigglers are about the same size as red wigglers, but they can be nervous about their surroundings. The African nightcrawler is a voracious eater and grows large but prefers warm climates. Everyone can successfully speed up the composting process. To speed up the composting process, you can freeze and thaw food scraps before adding them to the compost pile.

Using a blender to break up larger clippings speeds up the composting process by increasing the surface area. This is especially important to speed up the decomposition of eggshells.

There's actually a market for worms and fertilizer, so it could become an income-generating side hustle. Gardeners use vermicompost to fertilize their plants, fishermen use worms as bait, and some people just want to start producing their own vermicompost.

Composting your garden is easy

It's a simple method to benefit the environment and lessen your carbon impact. This will provide the soil needed for gardening and growing your plants, or improve the soil for your garden.

I have two tomato plants that love my fertilizer and are doing very well. I have also had success growing Florida hops using compost I made myself using a mixture of hot compost and vermicompost.

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