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Friday, March 27, 2009

Gardening: Kitchen Composting

What is Composting? It's when one-living things (plants, eggshells, leaves, grass, etc.) decompose to make "healthy dirt" - full of minerals and good things to make plants grow when added to soil. It's also a way to help save the earth: recycle yard and kitchen waste, and reduce what gets put to the curb to taken to landfills. Very necessary when doing container gardening, lasagna gardening, square foot gardening, and more.

What should be Composted? Here's a good alphabetized list:
-Aquarium Plants
-Bird cage or other vegetarian pet wastes
-Bread, stale
-Burned oats, rice, bread, etc.
-Cardboard & cereal boxes (shredded)
-Cereal and chips, stale or soggy
-Coconut fiber
-Coffee grounds
-Corncobs (chop to help decompose)
-Cotton and Cotton Swabs (no plastic)
-Dead bees, flies, mosquitoes, etc.
-Dried flower heads/leftovers from prunings
-Egg shells (rinse)
-Fruit peelings
-Glue, Elmer’s
-Grass clippings
-Hair, pet or human
-Houseplants, dead
-Kitchen waste: old salad, cheese, greens, fruit, veggies, bread, rice, pasta, etc.
-Lint from dryer, behind refrigerator
-Liquid from canned fruits/veggies, old wine, old beer
-Matches (paper or wood)
-Nail clippings (fingernail, toenail, dog nails, etc.)
-Newspapers, shredded
-Nut shells (no salty ones)
-Onion and garlic skins
-Outdated spices or herbs
-Paper napkins, notes, towels, junk mail, tissues, receipts, paper bags
-Pasta, old
-Pencil Shavings
-Pine needles
-Pits, olive/date/cherry/etc
-Popcorn (unpopped or popped)
-Potato peelings or stale potato chips
-Razor trimmings (beard, mustache)
-Rotted vegetables, fruits
-Shells (shrimp, crab, lobster, etc.)
-Soil, from the yardStraw, hay, wheat, bark
-Sweepings: Whatever you sweet or dust-mop up or vacuum up
-Tea bags, used
-Vegetable peelings
-Watermelon rinds
-Wood chips, ashes, saw-dust

Can Composting be done Inside? Yep. Not everybody has a backyard to compost. No problem... there are other ways to compost in even just your kitchen! We took a plastic gallon milk (or water!) jug, and cut a hole near the top, opposite side of the handle. Place in the fridge. Add things from list above. Then we have two small sealable trash cans just outside our kitchen door that we add potting soil, our scraps from the fridge-jug, and worms when we can find them. Mix it around every 60 days or so. Add to indoor planters after it's become dirt!

There are also actual countertop or other kitchen composters you can buy. Here's a few links:

Happy Composting!


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