Composting for Beginners
Regardless if you live in the city or country...check out our easy steps to making your very own compost with tons of benefits for your garden or flower beds!
The average Australian produces 1.5 tonnes of waste in a year. Much of this household waste is avoidable – like plastic packaging and food waste. But according to the ABC, Australians still let $8 billion worth of edible food hit the bin each year! Quite a statistic eh?
At Greenwood Farm, we love composting. We are passionate about recycling and reusing wherever possible, and composing is a huge part of that. 100 of our edible scraps, food peelings and skins, eggs shells and waste goes into our compost bins to be reused on our gardens.
Today, were taking a look at how you can get your own composting system up and running, whether you live in an apartment, or a huge house.
There are several ways to compost.
Firstly you're going to need a container. Just choose one that's going to fit the amount of waste you have. It needs to be kept outside and have contact with the ground. You could build one out of waste wood, an old palette, or a simple plastic bucket with a lid (any size) that's had the bottom cut out of it.
We use the big tubs from Bunnings with removable lids, that push on tight so the compost stays moist.
Next, we need to fill it!
Many layers are needed to initially start your compost pile. We start out with similar to the pic to the left.... and add a few goodies into the mix.
1: soil or woodchips - this helps with the compost to have contact with the ground and for drainage.
2: leaf cuttings - smaller organic drainage.
3: dry old leaves, usually the ones that you've raked up from the grass on a windy
4: fresh grass cuttings, that's right, tip the mower scraps into the bin - if you don't have lawn Im sure the neighbour will give you some of his!
5: not in the pic... but we add torn strips from our Sunday paper, this adds lightness and air to the mix.
6: time for the kitchen scraps, eggshells, veggie peelings, left over scraps from dinner
7: also not in the pic...... we add a big handful of lime (from Bunnings) and 3 big handfuls of dynamic lifter - helps get all those compost enzymes moving.
8: a literal shit load of manure, every Monday, you'll see me down at Mudgeeraba Showground with my re purposed little shopping trolley and shovel after the weekend pony club picking up the horse poo - cant tell you how satisfying it is to be picking up waste that will go to a good purpose!
9: another layer of dry leaves - or if you're like us, your chicken bedding scraps, lots of manure and pine shavings or hay works a treat!
10: a light water with a hose, having it a bit damp helps start the decomposing process.
Next, youll need to know what to put in.... and what to keep out!
Some things just don't work in compost! Any meats, dairy, and fish just attracts
rats... and no one likes that! Citrus does funny things to compost... it turns it sour, slimy and smelly as does dairy. Big things like avo stones and bigger bits of wood, just don't compost in the time frame you'd like so its best to avoid them.
So there you go! Your composting is sorted!
Obviously in winter things slow down a bit due to the cooler temperatures, but in around 6 to 8 weeks, you should be seeing the first signs of your very own compost! Remember, as you add the scraps for composting, you'll have to grab a shovel, or pitch fork and stir it up..... that's right baby, shake it up, right to the bottom of the pile... who needs a gym workout when you live on a farm!
Any questions and comments are always appreciated and we hope to hear from you soon.
Until next time.... Happy Farming!