The effectiveness of composting is not in any doubt and the benefits are numerous including the fact that the product produced can provide for very fruitful organic farming.

All you need to know to start your own composting

Aaron Pratt | Aaron's Rain Barrels & More

All you need to know to start your own composting
The effectiveness of composting is not in any doubt and the benefits are numerous including the fact that the product produced can provide for very fruitful organic farming.

All you need to know to start your own composting
by Aaron Pratt

No special knowledge or training is really required to go into composting. And what is more, only a little effort on your part is required to collect your waste and establish an active compost pile.

In nature, organic wastes are broken down by a combination of chemical and biological processes. Usually biological agents like worms, insects, fungi, bacteria and other micro-organisms eat up the materials. The chemical process does the rest. When you understand this, it becomes very easy to understand how composting works. Vermicomposting is the artificial biological process that is equivalent to what happens in nature because the very same worms are used. In normal composting the chemical process that happens in nature is also again artificially created.

Successful composting requires the correct amount of water and air to keep the biological and chemical processes functioning.

Temperatures also play a major role in composting. The higher the temperature the better. You may have noted that things tend to rot much faster in warmer climates. If it gets too cold, the composting process actually slows down dramatically. Exactly how a refrigerator or deep freezer works to keep food from going bad.

Thje right C:N ratio is also important. This is is the proportion of carbon to nitrogen in your compost unit. This ratio will greatly affect the speed of decomposition. The ideal C:N ratio is 30:1. A mixture of kitchen and yard waste usually gives you close to the ideal ration. Kitchen scraps as well as grass and plant trimmings are usually high in nitrogen. On the other hand, sawdust, straw, wood chips and dry leaves are high in carbon.

The correct container to use is a compost unit. An increasing number of municipalities offer composters at a special price, to encourage residents to use them. You can actually build one for yourself or buy one from your local hardware store. Building a composter will enable you to end up with a unit that best suits your specific needs.

A composter can be made of wood, concrete locks, wire mesh or virtually any material that you can get hold of. An essential feature of a compost unit is the lid to protect the pile from elements like rain and snow and thus enable you to control the amount of moisture that gets it.

A more advanced compost unit will have several compartments that can be used to manage compost at different stages as follows; raw materials, active piles and finished product.

Why composting is the future

Far from being a passing fad, composting and vermicomposting are growing in popularity as the solutions to a pressing and growing problem. There are several reasons why there is little doubt that composting is here to stay and very much a thing of the future.

It is becoming increasingly clear that many urban and increasingly densely populated areas of the world are places where lots of potentially harmful waste is being generated. This is happening in alarmingly rapidly increasing quantities. The challenge of how to handle this waste without it causing any harm to the environment has for a long time been a hard nut to crack.

The problem has gotten serious in recent years as our day to day garbage has rapidly grown more deadly to the environment and healthy living.

Composting has however proved to be a very effective and yet at the same time, environmental-friendly solution to the problem. Actually composting is the very method nature uses to clean the environment in the wild and to generally keep itself clean and sustainable. For example although no animals bury their corpses, dead animals decompose and produce composite in the wild. The process is a very important and critical part of the food chain that supports and maintains the entire ecosystem. So delicate is this system that a slight alteration can create a major crisis and lots of environmental problems.

Land fills and dumps which are increasingly facing larger volumes of waste to be disposed of are not an effective solution. In fact in the long haul too many dumps in an area can have a very catastrophic impact on the environment.

Composting on the other hand, which is borrowed straight from nature itself, not only safely disposes of the waste but goes further and creates a product that is useful, this is the rich soil ideal for organic farming. And in some cases even a byproduct that can be even more useful is created. This is in the case of vermicomposting where the byproduct of earthworm biomass is produced. Earthworm biomass can easily be processed into vermimeal which is a great substitute for fishmeal.

The effectiveness of composting is not in any doubt and yet the benefits are numerous including the fact that the product produced can provide for very fruitful organic farming. It is definitely here to stay for a long, long time to come. But it is also something that anybody can reap great rewards from immediately.

For more information try http://www.compost-bin.org/

 

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