Wasting food has always been a sore spot with me. No matter how creative you are there still tends to be some food scraps. Not everything is suitable even for soup stock.
What do you do with those brown bits of celery, potato peels and not-so-juicy lemons? Try composting your vegetable and fruit food scraps.
By composting your past their prime veggies and fruits, you help save on your garbage bill and return valuable nutrients to the soil.
- Add them to your compost pile as a “green” nitrogen based ingredient.
- Vermicomposting uses worms and can be done indoors too.
- Trench composting is done by simply digging trenches between the rows of plants in your garden and fill with plant scraps and cover with soil.
- Countertop composting in a self-contained unit uses charcoal filters to control odors.
When you compost here are a few things to keep in mind:
- You should use about twice as much brown material (carbon based) such as dried leaves and even shredded newspaper than green. Most newspapers use soy based ink. Check with your local newspaper to be sure.
- Compost needs water and air. Veggie scraps contain a lot of water so you may not need to add any additional moisture. The mix should be as wet as a wrung out sponge. Too wet mixture will turn anaerobic. Turn the pile frequently, every three days.
Before you toss it out, try to remedy the situation. For both conditions, anaerobic or too wet, add more brown material and turn pile more frequently. Cut back on the amount of water you add to your pile. Remember that green material, especially vegetable scraps are high in water content.
Avoid composting meat scraps outdoors. The smell of meat often draws animals to the bin. Meat also naturally contains bacteria the can contaminate your compost rendering it unsafe to use in a food producing garden.
If you find you have too many scraps don’t toss them. Freeze them for later use.
When you get good at composting and it starts piling up (sorry, I couldn’t resist) you can always donate extra to friends, neighbors or a nearby community garden group.