Start a Compost

Learn how to start a compost for unused greens and scraps.

With Earth Day here again (It’s the 50th Anniversary!) we thought we should just talk about how easy it is to save your food and plant scraps from the landfill and create your own compost pile at home. There are a number of ways to go about it, but one of the easiest is to use a trash can or a plastic bin with holes drilled in the bottom so that it can breathe. If you’re not handy with a drill, have someone help you or at least hold on to the bin while you’re drilling. Safety first!

Next, you’ll want to add “brown items”. What do we mean by that? Coffee grounds and filters work. Grass clippings, any leaves you might have raked up, and shredded newspapers are all perfect.

After that, on to the “green items”! Dead or trimmed leaves you’ve cleared away from your Aerogarden herbs, or salad greens, and the ends of your Aerogarden peppers or tomatoes are a great place to start. Eggshells or any produce bits and pieces that aren’t going into your meal are also green items.  (Note: Do NOT put in any meat products. Aside from having a less than appealing smell, it’ll attract animals.) Toss all green items into your new compost bin whenever you have them. Now, close your bin and wait!

A few tips to keep your pile in good shape:

1) A good rule of thumb is to turn your pile (mix it up) every three to seven days.

2) It’s not ready to use until the original items are no longer recognizable.

3) It should be fairly dark and crumbly and have a pleasant, earthy smell. 

4) Bear in mind, the pile will shrink in size by about fifty percent. So keep adding, and keep turning!

The overall process generally takes a minimum of three to six months. Be patient and keep at it!Do you own a compost or have any composting tips?