As many gardeners pack up their plots for the winter, you may be wondering how to engage in your gardening green thumb inside. One of our favorite things at Ekar that you can do in the off-season is composting at home! Compost is not only organic fertilizer that can amend and improve your soil structure, but it is also a process that turns garbage into gold. Rather than wasting all your precious fruit and veggie scraps by tossing them to the landfill, re-purpose these goods with simple indoor composting tips and tricks below:
- Compost Cake: The Balanced Recipe
No matter what method of composting you choose to use inside your home, the main recipe of compost is simple: equal parts “green” (nitrogen) and “brown” (carbon) materials with air and water. Green matter includes: fruit and vegetable scraps, fresh leaves, grass clippings, coffee grounds, and other high-nitrogen organic materials. Brown matter includes: paper, dried leaves, sticks, wood chips, saw dust, straw, hay, cardboard, newspaper, and other high-carbon materials. The best way to keep your compost balanced is to always add the same amount of green and brown materials while maintaining the moisture and air circulation.
- Vermicompost: Worms Do the Work
The most effective and fun (in my opinion!) way to break down your compost is with the help of worms! Worm composting, or vermicompost, requires the addition of Red Wiggler worms to your indoor compost bin. There are quite a few options for building appropriate homes for these Red Wigglers for indoor use: Rubbermaid buckets, garbage cans, 5-gallon buckets, shoe boxes, and more! Click on the links to get step-by-step instructions for each of these methods of vermicomposting.
- Anaerobic Composting: No Oxygen, No Problem
If you’d like to try composting without the help of Red Wigglers, soil microbes and lack of oxygen can still get the job done. Keeping your balance of greens and browns, fill a garbage bag with your organic matter plus some local soil that will have microorganisms already present to assist with the decomposition process. Tightly seal the bag and simply wait! This website gives more specifics of proportions and recommendations for using this anaerobic composting method.
These are just a couple of ways to get started with a small composting project this winter. Feel free to get creative and share what has worked for you with our community!