Composting for Beginners

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By Madison VanRavensway

Jensen asks hard questions. Jensen is my three year old. He’s incredibly smart for his age. I’m hopeful I am raising a child who will a leader someday. For now though, I have to live through the rough questions and odd demands.

Most recently he needed to know why we don’t have a compost pile like Mimzee (my mom). I didn’t have a good answer because until that moment it had never occurred to me that we needed one. He also informed me Curious George has a compost pile, so we need one. Like any good mother would do, I gathered my scraps and dumped them on the ground off the back porch. Boom, our compost pile was born!

To make my life easier I found a container with a lid to hold the peelings, egg shells, etc. that comes out of the kitchen. This keeps me from running out the back door several times a day, but also keeps gnats and odors out of the kitchen. When the container gets full I go dump it in our small but growing pile.

Additionally we will add dead leaves and hay to our compost, as well as some newspapers. Coffee grounds, tea bags, brown paper bags, grass clippings, saw dust, and garden waste can all be added as well!

Make sure not to compost meats or other foods that are not primarily vegetables/fruit. Anything treated with herbicide or pesticides, diseased plants, or weeds should not be added to the pile.

Where you place your pile should be a big enough area for turning the pile and adding more. It’s also good to remember this is not an overnight way to reap rich soil, it does take time. Despite that, it will produce excellent nutrient rich dirt for your garden.

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