“Don’t be afraid of that. It’s relatively easy. You can make mistakes, but you learn from them and they are easily corrected”, he advises. bob rinkomain author of Composting Handbook (“Compost Manual”) and Professor Emeritus State University of New York College of Agriculture and Technology in Cobbleskill.
How does compost work?
Food is made from the hard work of tiny microorganisms like Bacteria, Fungi and Protozoa They need the same things we do: air, water, food and shelter.
On a small scale, whether in your backyard or on your balcony, compost should consist of three things: food scraps, water, and dry wood materials such as yard clippings or rotted leaves. The latter, often referred to as “brown” or “dry”, has a high carbon content, Food scraps are called “green” or “wet” and include high nitrogen content, A compost bin should generally have twice as much brown color as the greens.
In addition to keeping the compost from becoming a mess, sawdust is bulky and creates room for oxygen to move throughout the bin. That oxygen helps the tiny microbes break down food waste. Through a process called aerobic digestion.
In landfills, deep piles of waste prevent oxygen from reaching the food, and the food is broken down by microbes that can survive without air, and it is anaerobic digestion that produces methane.
opposite of this, Aerobic microbes break down waste (easy sugar compounds first, then proteins and fats, and finally fiber) that emit carbon dioxide, which is also a greenhouse gas, but less potent than methane.
Microorganisms also give off heat, and temperatures in a large, well-managed container can reach over 54 °C, enough to kill pathogens. It is not necessary to expose the container to the sun.
The fresh manure left over after several months goes through a slow decomposition stage; It is rich in microelements and nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
How to make compost at home?
Compost at home should be turned or mixed from time to time and kept moist. both phases will accelerate the decomposition process, Movement allows oxygen to reach all corners and humidity ensures the survival of microorganisms, which are needed to survive.
In fact, the most common reason patio or balcony compost bins don’t do well is because they are too dry. But, be careful in dipping the compost; Adding more greens, which contain moisture, may be enough. Another option is to gently sprinkle water over the compost.
Not all food scraps are recommended for home composting., Fruit and vegetable scraps are generally safe to compost, but meat or dairy products are more likely to produce a strong odor and attract pests.
They also contain high levels of fat, which takes longer to break down. Although it is not uncommon to see rodents in the compost bin, regular turning of the pile does not build nests and compost can be effectively composted in a closed bin.
What can I add to compost?
- vegetable scraps
- fruit scraps
- egg shells
- leftover food
- napkins and paper
- Egg carton, it is recommended to break it into pieces
- Dried leaves
- ground coffee
- coffee filter
Care! Do not contain oil, meat, fish, bones, chemicals, aluminum, plastic, eggs.
Step by step: how to make compost in a wooden crate, pot or plastic box?
If you choose to make a compost bin at home with wooden drawers, the steps are as follows:
- Place a 2 cm layer of brown material (sawdust, dried leaves, paper, cardboard).
- Place a 2cm layer of green material (hay, food scraps)
- It is ideal to add a homemade compost activator to the green layer to accelerate the decomposition of organic matter: this can be the purine of the herb (obtained by soaking the herb for 10 days).
- The process of layers should be done at a distance of 70 cm. repeat until reaching a height of
- Cover the pile of layers with nylon to retain the moisture of our compost
- Mix compost pile weekly to maintain temperature
Extra tip: If there is excess water, keep strips of newspaper.