Whether you grow vegetables, flowers or house plants at home, or know someone who does, a bag of homemade #compost can be the best gift for the green babies. What’s also fun is that once you make #compost at home, you won’t have to rely on chemical fertilizers to nurture those crops and the produce you get will be chock full of nutrients.
What is compost? When organic material like plant bits and vegetable/fruit peels break down to become nutrient-rich and purely natural fertilizer for plants, its called compost. When you compost, all that leftover vitamins and minerals is recycled back and turned into food for your plants.
Where to begin? While it’s easy to theoretically know that composting is a win-win situation for us, our plants and the planet, many of us don’t know where to begin. Here are a few doable steps to get started on your composting journey:
Decide on a #composter. Some of the questions to consider:
Is a readymade composter available in your city? Would you like a plastic or terracotta composter? Or, would you prefer to make one at home?
Store-bought composter: I use a terracotta ‘Khamba’ composter from www.dailydump.org. Daily Dump has outlets in many of the major cities in India and all you have to do is, go to the website and check the nearest outlet. Alternatively, cruise over to the Contact us page and write to the folks at Daily Dump and ask them to recommend the nearest outlet.
Homemade composter: If you live in a small town in India, like I did a while back, and cannot buy a composter off the shelf, you can make one at home. For a DIY composter, all you need is a large bucket or drum with a lid. Punch holes all over it and you’re ready to go.
Decide where you want to park your composter. When I lived in bungalow with a sprawling yard, I parked mine in the backyard. But now when I’m in an apartment in a city, my composter huddles in one corner of my balcony.
Know the simple basics of composting. A recipe to remember is that composting is all about layering 1 part green and 4 parts brown, and add a dash of water. You need to stir or turn this pile about once or twice a week with a shovel, so the bottom layer comes to the top. It takes anywhere from 3 to 6 months to get fully-cooked compost.
But wait, what are the greens and browns to put in the compost pile?
The green material includes kitchen waste like vegetable and fruit scraps as well as egg shells, coffee grounds and tea leaves. If you have a lawn, grass clippings can also go into your compost pile. The brown material includes coconut husk (you can get this as part of the composting kit from www.dailydump.org), wood shavings (source it from a carpenter), dry leaves and plants, cardboard bits, napkins and stale bread.
Create a method. Once your compost bin is set up, you’ll be composting those peels and veggie bits every day. Do you want to take the chopping board to the composting bin to scrape out all the peels? Or, will you collect the peels and egg shells in a container on the kitchen counter, and empty it into the composter at the end of the day? Just setting up a system will help build the composting muscle.
Now that you’re all set, get going with the composting.
Call to action: Decide on what kind of composter you'll get for your home & find a place for it.
Do you have composting questions? Leave a comment below and we’ll answer it in another composting post.
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