Composting Post

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What you need:
*Yard waste, food waste, paper waste
*Compost Bin (I suggest you make your own out of found wood or trash bins with lids-google some designs!)
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*Shovel and pitch fork
Criteria:
*
Yard waste- leaves, garden waste, weeds, and dead plants are easily broken down (reducing in size by over 50% during decomposition). Avoid pine needles, pine cones, twigs and other woody materials.
*Food waste-
Avoid composting:fruit peels (citrus, avocado, etc.-apple and potato skins are ok), whole potatoes, stickers on produce, anything containing dairy or meat. Egg shells are okay, be sure to crush them before composting. Coffee grounds and coffee filters do great in compost The more chopped the food waste is the better. Decomposition can occur swiftly when oxygen is able to reach more food surfaces.
*Paper waste:(carbon) VERY IMPORTANT: you want a 2:1 ratio of carbon to food waste. I.E Every time you add some food scrap tear up a piece of newspaper or a cardboard egg carton to compost with it. do no use heavily inked or glossy/painted paper or card board. inks and glossy paper can excrete toxins into your: compost. NEVER COMPOST PLASTIC OR STYROFOAM.
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**also, avoid composting in large quantities: cups, utensils, etc. that are advertised as compostable.
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Layering can help yield fully processed soil within a short amount of time. Remember to add scraps of approved carbon sources. I recommend turning compost weekly or bi weekly.

Tips on turning:
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Use an empty bin to transfer compost to, this puts the top waste onto the bottom . Turning also allows you to asses the moisture and health of the compost.
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Watering:
Aiming for the moisture level that mimics a wrung out sponge is maintained by consistent turning. Compost that is too dry is not able to break down, compost that is too wet begins to rot and sour which creates a putrid smell and slows down the decomposition process.

When there are no identifiable food scraps,you have a black loamy type soil, no nasty smells, you are ready to shift the compost (wood and chicken wire).
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Use the shifted compost with peat moss, top soil and various minerals to grow a garden! Enjoy!

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