Written By: Zahra Hamirani, Esq. is the Chief Education Officer of Blossom Education/ The Blossom Nurseries, an SME100 company and winner of the Arabia Corporate Social Responsibility company of the year. She is an advocate of Triple PPP companies that focus on People, Planet and Prosperity. www.theblossomnursery.com
Composting is integral to healthy planting without the need for harsh chemicals and is super easy to start. It is a method for taking solid waste in which organic material is broken down by microorganisms in the presence of oxygen to a point where it can be safely stored, handled and applied to the environment. In short, it takes waste and makes it useful!
Composting is an essential part of reducing household wastes and can be done inexpensively by everyone to produce a product -- finished compost or humus -- that can benefit the environment as a natural fertilizer for gardening and farming. Nature creates compost all the time without human intervention. But you can step in and speed up the composting process by creating the optimal conditions for decomposition: Air + Water + Carbon + Nitrogen = Compost.
Start by doing a garbage audit: The average person throws away 4.4 pounds of garbage daily so the first step is to see what you do to determine what and how you can salvage it best.
To compost easily get a plastic or wooden bucket to start and find a place to keep it outside with access to air and light. Drill small holes in it to manage moisture and allow for drying. Tear newspapers into 1 inch squares and combine with other “brown” ingredients like coffee grounds, sawdust and dried leaves and grass cuttings. Drying yard waste is easy by simply leaving in a corner pile or box to bake in the sun. Create a layer of this at least 3 inches deep and moisten with water. Do not soak. Layer peelings of your fruits and veggie “green” waste on top – it is best to chop or slice this waste into 1 inch or smaller pieces. Carrot skins, potatoes, apples all work wonders. Add another layer of brown waste and keep alternating until your bin is filled. Turn a shovel or rake through the compost every 4 days ensuring pile is moist (add water as needed) aim for a ratio of 40% brown to 60% green waste. This humus can be ready in as little as 3 weeks and can be mixed in with your garden soil to create a garden that blossoms.
If you enjoy composting – check out http://www.compostgardening.com to unleash your inner eco-warrior and reap the results with delicious food and satisfaction that you are doing good for the world!