Compost is Nature's way of recycling!
Farming is all about copying what happens in nature and compost is no different! As plants and animals decompose over time, their bio-material forms a nutrient-rich fertilizer that replenishes the soil! As plants grow, they take up nutrients from the soil. Once harvested and it's time to plant a new vegetable, the lost nutrients must be added back and compost is a great way to make that happen! By making our own compost on the farm, we reuse and reduce our waste and save money because we no longer need to purchase fertilizer!
Greens and browns
The term "greens" can sometimes be misleading because not all "greens" are green! (That's a mouthful)! Green refers to the materials that are high in nitrogen. Vegetable scraps, animal poop and coffee grounds are all examples of greens. Brown refers to the materials that are high in carbon. Coffee Filters, untreated wood chips, straw and cardboard are all examples of browns. For the perfect compost concoction, it is important to have an even 1:1 ratio of nitrogen-rich materials and carbon-rich materials.
How do I get started?
Composting is very simple to do at home! All you need to have a successful compost operation is organic material (your greens and browns), oxygen, water and time. The minimum spacing for a compost area is 3x3x3. Add your organic material in layers and evenly. You can purchase a compost thermometer to measure activity. If the temperature of your compost drops or if decomposition seems to be moving slowly, simply turn your compost! This allows space for all your compost critters or FBI (Fungi, Bacteria, Invertebrates) to move around and continue breaking down waste!