The Urban Farm Corps’ Home Composting Tips

September 25, 2017  |   Posted by :   |   Blog   |   Comments Off on The Urban Farm Corps’ Home Composting Tips»

Contributed by Urban Farm Corps Member Shamon Williams of Team Seva.

Shamon

Community gardeners who want to start composting need to know a few facts.

Small scale composting varies from large scale composting in a few ways, like instead of using bacteria, worms and other varieties of insects, you target larger insects to do most of the work. This process might be slower but it doesn’t require a seal—or outer layer of more mature compost—to fight off rodents, or water from a hydrant, and only needs to be turned once in a while.

This is because you wouldn’t put the same stuff in it that you would if you were using bacteria. What keeps rodents away is not adding meat, dairy products, and any greens you cooked or ate with dressings. Instead, you would put mostly nitrogen based materials, like weeds from your garden, stems and leaves off your lettuce and other plant based foods. That’s how you keep moisture in the compost without outside water sources, as opposed to adding more carbon based objects like wood shavings, coffee chaff, egg shells, peanut shells, dried leaves and wood chips.

Other than the mixture of soil—which is just needed for the worms to thrive (red wigglers are the desired species)—lots of green leafy materials and your carbon based additives, you need a bin to store it all in. A typical compost bin is made out of a wood base and structure and wooden slabs as the door, wire mesh for walls which allows air and bugs to come through. This is why red wigglers are preferable, they’re sensitive to light so they never really leave the pile while contributing their own special part.

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