- Compost Enriched Basil is Healthy and Delicious
Writing a blog about living green and eating organic has introduced me to many new concepts, and helped me learn more about some old ones. Composting food and yard wastes has been a method of disposal since the beginning of time. We didn’t always have garbage disposals and landfills. Nowadays, most of my household wastes end up in a healthy soil amendment that helps me grow rich, nutritious Basil for my favorite Organic Bruschetta recipe.
After setting up organic lawn care with Jolly Green Planet last summer, I learned that owner, Vicki and Becca, are bubbling cauldrons of knowledge on this subject. Curiously, they each accomplish their composting inside by using a worm bin. I imagine this is a real conversation starter their homes.
With help from the Jolly Green Planet staff, I easily began learning how to compost my kitchen and household wastes. For a small fee, you can get a one-hour consultation. They’ll give you many variations on how to do it; it’s up to you to choose your method. For me, it is more of a choice not to send all that stuff to the landfill, rather to use if for a good purpose. Food and plant wastes have nutritional value that should not be wasted. Yes, you can even send your wilted floral arrangement and weeds to the compost pile. This value is recaptured and reincorporated into your plantings, after composting is complete.
These Mother’s Day Flowers are Off to the Compost Bin
And there’s more. It really makes me feel good to see my one-half bag of garbage and one-half can of recycles at the street each week. That’s about all it takes, unless I have lots of company. The rest goes into the compost pile. I no longer toss my newspapers, spoiled food, leftovers and scrap paper.
You’d be surprised at how much the scrap paper adds up. Try this experiment at your home for one week. Save all waste paper of any kind, even your toilet paper rolls, paperboard boxes, receipts and straw wrappers. And don’t forget the lint from your dryer. Yes! It’s compostable too. You’ll see what I mean after you do this little exercise. All that stuff can go into your compost, instead of the landfill.
There are a number of options for making compost that don’t have to be messy. Vicki and Becca at Jolly Green Planet have been very helpful in teaching me how to make my compost in my yard. But I haven’t missed the message. They can also sell me a compost bin for my home that looks like any other kitchen appliance; one of them looks like my trash compactor, which isn’t seeing much action these days. And if I am really adventurous, I can choose to use a worm bin. Sounds yucky, I know. But, really, there are no smells or mess. These cool composting worms efficiently transform your household leftovers into a rich soil enhancement and deliver you fresh compost to use, share, or store for later.
Compost From the Worm Bin
Ready to Use
Of course, you don’t have to buy an appliance for composting. You can do what I do. I make my compost outside. I simply used some garden fencing to box in a hidden area behind some bushes. Then I started adding leftover foods (no meat, meat fat, or dairy), yard waste and paper. I leave out paper that is heavily coated with varnish (like magazine covers), but include cardboard like cereal boxes and shipping boxes. I keep this pile covered with heavy plastic that I purchased at a local hardware store.
This Batch of Compost is Almost Ready to Use
According to Vicki, my pile should always smell like a rain forest, or it means I need more “brown” material, like dead leaves, paper, cardboard and sticks. You get it, the dead, dried up stuff. Even coffee grounds and eggshells are good for your compost. No more broken garbage disposal problems, as you won’t be using it much.
Of course, there are other factors involved in making compost, but we don’t really want to run a race here. I’ve chosen to make my compost at the rate Mother Nature chooses. My friends at Jolly Green Planet will be happy to assist you with your composting. Whatever way you choose to make it, your plants will love you for it.
Today’s Harvest of Roma Tomatoes
Grown with Composted Soil Enhancement
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