What is Composting Exactly?

Composting is breaking down organic materials, such as fruits, vegetables, or paper to use in your garden. This works by quickly creating an extremely organic environment by allowing the microculture of your garden to flourish.

Why is this important?

This is beneficial for many reasons:

  • It creates healthy fertilizer to use, and as long as what you put in there is organic, the compost will also be organic.
  • It doesn’t take much space and can be implemented in any size garden
  • It gives you a place to dispose of a variety of household products in an environmentally friendly way
  • It does not require much work at all

How Do You Start a Compost Bin?

We began with researching this topic, and found many people that do this, and were able to do it for very cheap and with little hassle.

All it took, was a $5 bin, and $4 worth of worms.

Other than that, we used

  • Paper without color ink, black and white only!!
  • Dryer lint¬†Do not use dryer sheets
  • Hair
  • Any organic produce
  • Any organic produce skins or rines
  • eggshells
  • tea
  • coffee filters Unbleached
  • Here are 100 options

There are so many things that you can compost rather than throw in the trash.

If you grow plants, especially if you do so in efforts to live more sustainably composting is beneficial all around, and it is a peaceful process

“Peace is Every Step” by Thich Naht Hanh is a book which I would highly recommend, and it discusses this in a way I would like to quote it because I couldn’t possibly put it better.

“When anger is born in us,¬†we can be aware that anger is an energy in us, and we can accept that energy in order to transform it into another kind of energy. When we have a compost bin filled with organic material which is decomposing and smelly, we know that we can transform the waste into beautiful flowers. At first, we may see the compost and the flowers as opposite, but when we look deeply, we see that the flowers already exist in the compost, and the compost already exists in the flowers.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

It is a calming feeling to know that the majority of your household waste is thrown back into your garden. It will provide right back to your family in other forms.

So, to start to compost, we would advise either purchasing a cheap plastic bin, you can find them at any Walmart or similar retail store.  If you would prefer, you could use a mound of dirt in your yard or a pile of leaves and organic materials.

In any sense, to begin, you save your families organic materials like the ones mentioned above.

Next, you need to add paper to act is a neutral substance so the bin won’t get too wet. Remember, only black and white paper.

Cut the paper into small strips and throw it in your bin. If it is still wet later, you can always add soil later so soak up extra moisture, and give more of a medium for the creatures crawling in the bin.

Finally, add your worms

You put the worms in there, and they begin scavenging for food.

We just bought regular red worms from Walmart. It has been successful for us, but comment if you know of other species that may be better for this task.

One important aspect is to research what species of worm you have. There are different kinds, and they do behave in certain ways. Some eat slower, some digest food slower, some reproduce slower, and their eating habits affect how efficient your compost bin will be.

Our red wigglers have done well, and I suspect ours are the voracious eaters recommended for composting because they all bunch up around the newly added food.

Timeline of the worm bin

We began our worm on October 20, 2017.

This is what it looked like today, roughly 6 months later.

We had consistently put our organic matter in our compost bin until about 2 months ago, where we let it sit in the dark. It composted quickly, and the worm population has appeared to increase significantly. I had read they should double in population every 2-4 months.

Does composting smell?

God yes, so damn much…

So much

If you have a bin you do have to put holes in it, however, we have had no issue with this when the bin was closed.

If it is really getting decomposed and smelling really bad, thoroughly cover it with paper, or sawdust, which will absorb the moisture and contain the smell.

Have we Had Issues With Composting?

So far, we have had no issues with our compost bin.

The dogs are fascinated and terrified to sniff it closely.

But we have harvested from it, and nothing terrible has happened to our plants.

In fact, our plants are all doing pretty well at the moment, so I guess that is a good indication we’re doing it right.

We also do have a compost bin outside, which isn’t necessarily a bin but a pile held in with hardware cloth.

We throw all of our leaves and grass clippings over the year into it, we throw what we can’t fit in our worm bin in there.

Make sure that you flip this compost pile often, at least once a week I would say, but here is more info.

In the end, I would recommend composting if not only for the reason of being more eco-friendly and saving some trash.

Check out some of our other Gardening Posts!

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