Exploring Agriculture and Forestry

Steve Roark’s very own compost pile is shown.

With living green becoming a worthy cause these days, you’ve probably heard the benefits of composting yard and kitchen waste. It’s good fertilizer, adds organic matter, improves soil moisture, and the environmental upshot is you’re sending less stuff to landfills and septic systems. Despite the positives, few people compost for various perceived negatives: no room, maintenance hassles, too complicated, bad smell, etc. As a composter, I would be considered a passive one, bordering on lazy. I don’t worry about any of the above and my waste still rots down without smelling. So let me give you some basic truths about composting to show that it’s easy and encourage you to give it a try. Information for the article came from Mother Earth News magazine.

Balancing ingredients is optional: This is where people think it’s complicated. For rapid decomposition, a general recommendation is to add ingredients in a certain ratio, such as “two parts brown to 1 part green”. Browns are dry stuff like leaves and dead plants, while greens are wetter stuff like fresh grass clippings and kitchen waste. The truth is that while balancing ratios can produce compost faster, it’s optional and not a necessity. So pile stuff on the pile when you need to and it will still mature into compost within a year.