Composting is taking organic waste, yard trimmings and kitchen scraps and converting it through decomposition into a free source of soil amendments and a natural fertilizer. Using compost we build up our soil by adding important nutrients back to the soil that get depleted during our gardens growing season. We just can’t get the same results from chemical fertilizers.
It is estimated by the EPA that 20% of all landfill use is organic materials that we should be composting. By composting, we can significantly reduce landfill space..
To make compost it requires green matter such as food scraps grass clippings which will add nitrogen, and brown matter such as leaves or saw dust that add carbon. With water, oxygen and time we will have our compost. It is important that we layer the greens and the browns then occasionally stir it with a pitched fork to get oxygen into the pile the more you work your pile the faster it will decompose for you.
Creating a compost bin or area is simple. It doesn’t require much time, space or money. Compost areas ideally should be close to the garden. There are a variety of materials that can by used to make a compost bin, such as cinder blocks, woven wire fence, lattice, etc.. There are also many compost bins that you can purchase commercially.
What should be added to your compost bin?
· Vegetable peels and scraps
· Fruit scraps
· Coffee grounds with filter
· Tea bags
· Egg shells
· Watermelon rinds cut into pieces
· Grass clippings
· Spent flowers and plants
· Weeds if it has not seeded
Things that should never be composted:
· Meat or meat scraps
· Fats or oils
· Salad dressings
. Dairy Products
We offered a composting class following our participants meeting this week. We only have a few participants that have composted before. After the class, most of them said that they were going to begin composting.
One of our participants, Ms. Lackey, helped to teach the class. She is very knowledgeable about composting and has many years of experience. She did a great job! She also recorded a video on composting from her garden.
Participant of the Week
We are very proud to name Ms. Crabtree our garden participant of the week. She is very enthusiastic, hard working, and her positive energy is inspiring. Even though she works full time and has two teenage daughters, she is quick to volunteer to help the Grow Appalachia team.
Her feelings about Grow Appalachia in her own words
"Five years ago, my husband and I decided to plant a garden for various reasons such as finances, nutrients, the love of fresh vegetables, to relieve stress etc. My husband was a truck driver so he was only home on the weekends to help with the garden. He would normally plow and till the garden and sometimes help plant, while I would take care of the garden and harvest what it would produce.
May of last year I lost my husband to a massive heart attack. Without his help to plow and till the garden for me, I was unable to have a garden. This year thanks to you and the Grow Appalachian Project that you have provided to Scott County, not only did I get my garden plowed and tilled for me, but I also had seeds, plants and fertilizer provided to me as well.
This has been a very stressful year for my two teenage daughters and me. However, thanks to this program I have been able to work in my very own garden and really enjoy the peace and relaxation that working in the garden gives me, which helps to relieve a lot of the stress. Your program has also blessed us by providing us with the help to produce a garden that not only has produced vegetables for ourselves but also have been able to provide vegetables for several other needy families in our community."
Ms. Crabtree's donation to a local food bank