Start composting! Here’s how.
Try a compost pile
Layer your vegetation and carbon (dried leaves, newspaper, straw etc.) to form a sort of compost parfait. Layers are pretty important and should be only a few inches thick. Spray a bit of water in between each layer. The moisture is the catalyst that promotes the bacteria and fungus growth and decomposition. In essence, what is happening is the bacteria are metabolizing, eating, breaking-down a.k.a. decomposing the materials. Their waste is what becomes the "humus".
All of this activity creates a pretty generous amount of heat. There is a point in the life cycle of the compost pile where the temperature inside reaches over 140 degrees fahrenheit. When this happens, all the bacteria that were breaking down the matter die off. Then there is the cooling phase where the soil is recolonized with healthy soil bacteria (very similar to the beneficial bacteria that live on us and in our gut)
What we are left with in about 3-6 months time, is a medium that can be used to put in houseplant soil or your very own garden for super healthy and nutritious plants.
Reasons to compost
- Reduces landfill waste
- Returns nutrients to the land
- Retains moisture in the soil
- Good for the environment
- Connects you with magnificence of nature
- It’s fun and can be done with your kids
You may ask yourself why organic soil, or for that matter food, is so important. Well, it’s not just because we detest the big chemical companies for bastardising our soil, for polluting the environment and for damaging ecosystems mandatory for human survival. It’s because if you are going to eat clean food meant to heal and maintain wellness, we need nutrient-dense soil to grow nutrient dense foods.
Remember the “Dust Bowl”? America’s most fertile earth was turned into a virtual desert in just a few years. We didn’t understand the importance of replenishing the soil after the harvest, crop rotation and so on. Topsoil equals abundance on Earth. When we toss kitchen scraps (nitrogen component) into a compost pile and mix it with dry leaves, grass, paper (carbon component), the chemical composition changes this into earth. The leftover nutrients from the scraps contain phosphorus, potassium, and trace minerals (calcium, iron, boron, copper, etc.) and are essential to microbial metabolism.
The combination of all this organic matter together allow for bacteria and fungi to digest and metabolize the scraps until it turns into something we can use: humus. This is mandatory for plants to grow. If we don’t replenish it by adding composted ‘humus’ to it, it will literally turn to dust.
More on soil
Humus is the post product of composting and is dense with trace minerals and phytonutrients that the seedling you plant, will pull up thru the roots to become that nutritious plant you’d like to consume. Without the proper balance of phytonutrients, the soil becomes bland and thus the plants that grow from it are essentially starving for nutrition and susceptible to disease. That’s why some chemical companies spray NPK fertilizers (that have three essential macronutrients needed for plant growth). Sadly, they completely excluded the mandatory phytonutrients and trace minerals to the recipe. That is why chemical companies must spray their genetically weak plant life to protect against insects and other pests.
If you need more info or help with composting there are some great online resources and youtube videos that show you step-by-step, how to start and manage a compost pile, but also the basics of worm composting, using a compost tumbler and many other forms of composting.
So, be sustainable and start composting! It’s the right thing to do.