For a Greener Hill: Composting
by Jessica Miller (Emery Street) | This column provides tips on reducing waste while saving money.
There is nothing as rewarding as composting: watch your waste effortlessly turn into a natural fertilizer.
You don’t have to buy much, or anything at all, to start a compost. You can simply make a pile in a corner of your yard. However, you may choose to contain it. For that, you can either dig a hole and put your organic waste in there, or you may use metal posts and chicken wire. There are a lot of tips online saying that the pile should be in a sunny location and covered. Although I wasn’t able to follow that advice, my compost is doing just fine. I give it very little attention – I don’t even turn it more than twice a year – and in return I receive a year’s supply of fertilizer and potting soil.
Our household consumes a lot of compostable material, so we decided to use wood pallets to build a large one, with one side containing compost ready to use, and the other one containing our waste. There are many tutorials online, such as this one: http://www.homeandgardeneasy.com/how-to-make-compost. Many businesses give pallets for free. We drove around town, noticed a pile, asked, and took them home.
Compost: vegetable and fruit scraps, coffee and tea (including filters), leaves, grass clippings, egg shells. We have rabbits and use wood-stove pellets for their litter: the wood pellets mix well in the compost, and their droppings make a great fertilizer.
Don’t compost: meat, droppings from animals that eat meat, rocks; tree branches, hard pits, and nut shells won’t harm your compost, but they will not decompose well.