Friday, May 14, 2010

Compost Awareness (Last)Week

I missed this last week. I'm not sure how I did, it must have been not seeing any cards at the gift card section of the Dollar Store. I don't know why there isn't any greeting cards for this holiday. After all, what can be more important then composting.

I suspect most people would think a lot of things, and ask why am I thinking there would be gift cards to celebrate such a thing. I suppose that's a good point, after all what would you put on the card? A picture of dirt, or the inside of a composter. Well, I will admit, the inside of a composter is not the most appealing site, in fact I went to my little compost and took a few photographs of the inside:

I realize you may think 'this is ugly', but what happens in that little space is magical. For from that mass of clippings and food material, comes the wonder of a substance that builds up soil and turns dirt into a medium in which the delights of nature can take place.

One website gives these suggestions as to reasons for composting:
What is compost & composting?

Compost is a dark, crumbly, earthy smelling material that is great for your garden. Composting is the natural breakdown of organic material (kitchen and yard materials) by micro-organisms (bacteria and fungi), insects and worms.
What are the benefits of compost?

Composting is nature's way of recycling. Compost returns nutrients and organic matter to the soil, and feeds beneficial micro-organisms, insects and worms. It improves the texture, oxygen-retaining capabilities and moisture-holding capacity of the soil. Compost is a soil conditioner and a source of fertilizing nutrients. It conditions and improves the overall structure of soils by adding organic matter. Compost contains fertilizing nutrients that are released slowly over time. This can reduce, if not eliminate, the need for chemical fertilizers.

Beyond its benefit to gardens, there's another compelling reason to have some form of composting system in your yard. Putting garden and kitchen material in a compost bin removes these materials from curbside waste collection and saves landfill space. Composting reduces greenhouse gases that are produced when organic material decomposes in a landfill without oxygen.

What became a fascinating study as I worked on this blog, is the number of webpages dealing with the benefits and instructions for composting. Some of them answered the question 'Why Compost?'

I've been composting for a few years now and there's always a great benefit of taking a bunch of kitchen wastes, leaves and grass clippings to something that will benefit the soil and the garden. I'm hoping tomorrow I'll be able to start working on the garden by planting some seeds. I've been preparing the soil, getting some good compost into the ground, both what comes from the composter and some commercial material.

As pointed out by another website:
All organic materials can be broken-down and decomposed, but not at the same speed. composting only the right materials will ensure the highest quality product.

What's great is any and almost everything can go into a composter. If you've been to a Starbucks, you might notice a place to grab some free coffee grounds for the home composter. There is encouragement for composting coffee.

If there is one problem is that some articles want to make it a bit difficult, such as you have to have so much of this material, and so much of that. I guess all i can say to that is, this isn't rocket science, all we're doing is what nature does naturally. Soil is nothing more then the breakdown of organic matter and nature does quite a good job of it. To be honest I did learn a few things and that is I can put shredded paper into the compost. Never thought of that, makes sense and a great way to avoid any threats of identity theft. You really think people are going to stick their hand into a compost pile to look for an address to a credit card statement? I think not. Yet one can compost shredded paper.

Alright, I didn't send anyone a Happy Compost Awareness Week card, perhaps I'll find one next year to send.

All I can say is, get working on that pile.

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