Thursday, February 9, 2012

One Easy Way to Start Composting

Photograph courtesy of the US Department
of Agriculture.
In Nature, composting isn't such a big deal.

By that I mean, in the natural world, composting is something that happens naturally. Plant and animal matter dies in the forest, falls to the ground, and decomposes. The decomposed matter nourishes the next generation of vegetable life. And life in the forest goes on.

Of course, we've made it complicated by cleaning up the process. We grow our vegetable matter in neat little gardens, and removing anything extraneous. I'm not recommending that we change that. I'm just saying that this way of thinking of Nature has led to a tendency to sterilize our soil, and now we have to do something about it.

If you've never composted before, you may feel overwhelmed at the complexity of it all. There are all kinds of ways to compost -- from just keeping a huge pile of dead matter in your back yard to the most up-to-date composting machines. For many of these processes, you'd need to keep abreast of your communities laws and regulations.

But composting doesn't have to be that hard. You can start composting, today, in your kitchen. And all you'll need to get started is a bowl.

Find a nice big kitchen bowl and a space to keep it in your refrigerator. (You'll probably want something to cover it with, too.) From now on, you'll throw all your waste vegetable matter into the bowl, and keep it stored in the refrigerator. That means potato peelings, left over broccoli, the tops off your carrots. Remember, though, just vegetable matter. Leftover animal products -- even butter -- will attract the wrong kind of wildlife to your garden.

When the bowl is full, throw the contents into your blender with a little water and puree it. Then, weather permitting, take it out to your garden and dig a little hole. Pour the blended matter in and cover the hole. Next time, you'll pick a new spot to feed your garden.

Sounds simple, doesn't it? It should take you less than 15 minutes every time you feed your garden, and only a few extra seconds a day to throw those leftovers into the bowl. And on top of everything else, you'll probably produce less garbage for the landfill.

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