Last summer I started a project that I am very excited about. It began when I went to this sustainable organic farm in Missouri called the Possibility Alliance. It was a great experience and I learned a lot of things while I was there. One of the things that I learned about was composting.
Composting is this really cool thing, where you basically recycle organic material. It’s like what happens in the wild. An animal dies or leaves fall to the ground, and it decays. It breaks down, and the nutrients within it return to the earth. Then, plants take up these nutrients, and animals get the nutrients from the plants, and the cycle repeats!
This is basically what happens in a compost pile. The organic material we put in it, like food scraps and yard clippings, break down releasing nutrients into the soil. This makes the soil very rich and fertile for plants to grow in it. This is great if you have a garden because you can spread out this soil among the plants you are growing to give them extra nutrients. One thing about adding food scraps to a compost pile, is that you can’t add everything. For example, unless you want wild animals and pests digging around in your compost, don’t add meat or milk products. Don’t add paper that has a lot of printing on it like magazines either. These can contain chemicals that won’t be very beneficial to the soil.
When I was at the Possibility Alliance, we learned a lot of things about the environment. One thing that really inspired me was the new compost pile I got to help with. After that I went home and started my own in our backyard. We already have a plot of land for a garden, so all I had to do was section of a small area and begin adding organic materials to it. We keep a big plastic bucket right next to our garbage can to put the food scraps into, and when it gets full, we take it out to the compost pile. The bucket has a lid, so that the food doesn’t really attract flies or anything, and because it sits right next to the garbage can, it’s pretty easy to remember to put things into it that are compostable. Composting is actually quite simple! I began my compost about a year ago, and it really paid off! My family decided to have a garden this year, so we spread all the rich, nutrient-filled soil from the compost all around our yard to help our tomatoes and cucumbers grow.
If you have a spot in your backyard, big or small, I would definitely recommend trying out a compost pile. It’s a really easy way to help out the environment by reducing the amount of trash sent to the landfill, and it really doesn’t take up any extra time, so you can compost even if you are a busy person like me!