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The Beginner’s Guide to Composting

Composting is the process of recycling food waste to create nutrient-rich humus that can promote plant growth by revitalizing depleted soil. It’s a simple way of recycling organic matter to create a fertilizer and soil amendment. Compost is key in organic farming and is also used in gardens, landscaping and agriculture.

The Benefits

Compost is a soil conditioner. It will help retain moisture in your soil, add nutrients to your plants and introducing organisms that help prevent plant disease. At the same time, composting recycles your kitchen and yard waste and can convert as much as 30% of your waste from being thrown out. How cool is that? Of course this is great for the environment and reduces the amount of landfill waste. Just imagine how much we could reduce landfill waste if everyone composted. We think of compost as a healthy, natural immunity boost for your plants that comes at little to no cost.

Start Composting

What do I need?

To start creating your own organic compost, you’ll need some sort of enclosed bin. We recommend the Bokashi Composting System to get started. These bins specifically will seal any odors in the process and keep your kitchen clean. Secondly, you’ll need waste, which shouldn’t be hard to find!

What can I compost?

Here’s the master list of composting materials:

  • Cardboard
  • Chicken Manure
  • Coffee Grounds
  • Corn Stalks
  • Dryer Lint
  • Eggshells
  • Fruit & Vegetable Scraps
  • Garden Plants
  • Grass Clippings
  • Green Leaves
  • Lawn & Garden Weeds
  • Leaves
  • Newspaper
  • Pine Needles
  • Sawdust
  • Shredded Paper
  • Shrubs
  • Straw / Hay
  • Table Scraps
  • Tea Leaves
  • Wood Ash
  • Wood Chips

How does it work?

Sprinkle EM•1® Bokashi in layers and once the bucket or bin is full let the waste ferment for 1 to 2 weeks. The Bokashi enhances the pile and acts as an activator to jump start the fermentation process. During the process you’ll want to keep things moist. Do this by regularly checking the pile to make sure that your bin is in a moist environment. You’ll also want to continue to add material during the process to give bacteria fresh food to consume. A combination of different materials will aid plants by giving them a variety of nutrients. After fermentation, the finished product should smell like fresh soil and will look dark and crumbly. You can bury the waste in your garden, add it to an existing compost pile or worm bed, or even feed it to livestock.