2021 - Composting

Gardening continues to be one of my most relaxing hobbies. Yes, my garden requires a lot of sweat, work, time, and patience, but the rewards are oh-so-delicious. And after a long day of staring at a computer screen for work, getting outside to do physical work is a welcome respite. Each year I learn something new about gardening, try to grow new vegetables or fruits, or expand my garden in new ways.

After years of encouragement from my wife, the new addition this year is composting. You would think as much as I enjoy gardening and science, that I would have tried composting sooner. To be honest, I was a bit overwhelmed as to how to do it. But with recent changes to our trash and recycling collection in our town, I began to consider better ways to manage our food waste, recyclables, and trash. So what is composting?

In the most simple terms, compost is decomposed organic matter. Composting is the process of adding a balanced combination of biodegradable materials together, such as leaves, straw, dry grass clippings, kitchen scraps, and garden waste. With the help of decomposers (microorganisms, worms, insects, fungi, etc) and the right conditions, the raw materials break down into one homogenous nutrient-rich, soil-like material – finished compost.


Once I started reading more about the process and finding so many great resources (the EPA and Indiana Recycling info was very helpful), I got really excited about the possibility. So I started researching ways to start simple with composting. That lead to the purchase of these two highly recommended compost bins and a digging fork for rotating the compost. I set them up recently and we have begun using them. It will be weeks or months before we have compost available, perhaps even spring. Gardening is about patience, and composting is no different.

To help with our composting, we also purchased a filtered kitchen composter for food scraps. As it fills up, we empty it in our bins outside. Currently it has banana peels, egg shells, buggy tomatoes, and some apple cores (with seeds removed).

Have you tried composting? If so, what worked and didn’t work for you? Any suggestions for us as we start down this new world of composting?

Side Project: Composting

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