Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Get Composted

In the "not so" lovely land of Toronto these days...garbage is piling up, garbage is piling up high! Because nothing is being picked up. Our garbage is accumulating and our recycling is accumulating and we have so much food waste that we don't know what to do with. But I do have one small solution, there is one small thing that you can do to make some head way and get some things accomplished - START COMPOSTING! It is up to you to make a small difference - even if it is just for you and your family. This could then extend to your neighbors or other surrounding communities. Whether you can find a local resource to take your compost to or you can build or buy your own, that is the best way to get rid of some of this excess food waste. Not only that, but you will have some amazing fertilizer for your garden next season. Based on a previous post Garden of Eatin', I encouraged my readers to get started with a simple garden in their back or front yard.

So to build a compost - whether you have the luxury of a loved one in your family to build one for you :) or have to hire out help from a reliable resource, it is well worth your while - especially in this desperate and "smelly" time of need! Whether it is piling up in your backyard or down your street it has got to be decomposing somewhere and it may as well be on your own property! If you are using organic produce - which I hope you are if you are a reader of my blog then you know that I encourage you to buy only the best quality organic ingredients (especially fruits and veggies ) and in that case you will have the best quality- high nutrient soil that you garden will just soak up! When these ingredients break down...you will be on your way to some good sourced organic and high nutrient fertilizer.

Here are some tips on how to get started....
1. Location - select a level area for your bin with good water drainage. (partially shaded is best, and keep away from walls and fences, bushes, plants and openings of your home).
2. Before you place your bin on the ground, loosen the soil so it is sitting in teh dirt.
3. Once your bin is in place, put a layer of dead plants.
4. 3 STEP SYSTEM: a) Materials (use equal parts of Green and Brown Materials)- see below. Start with browns first, then add a layer of greens. Top greens with layer of soil or finished with compost. b) Moisture: keep your pile as damp as possible c) Air: add air to you pile every 2-3 weeks. Poke holes through the pile with a garden fork.

What to compost:

- grass clippings, flowers, green plant trimmings and newly fallen leaves
-fruit and vegetable peelings
-coffee, tea or fruit or vegetable juice
-grain or pasta products (no sauces or butter)

-dried grass clipping and dried leaves
-small amounts of woodchips
-dryer lint
-thin layers of hardwood ash and sawdust

What NOT to Compost:

-dairy products
-peanut butter or oil based products
-fish, meat, bones, fat
-bbq charcoal or ash
-diseased or infested plants
-weeds with mature seeds
-treated wood products
-animal or human waste

I hope this gives you some insight and inspiration to get COMPOSTING!!

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