Week 19: Composting – Gather Materials

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The second step when beginning a compost pile is to gather the actual materials that will be used to create the pile within your compost bin.  The general rule is that 4 components are needed to make a basic compost pile:  greens, browns, water, and air.  Greens consist of moist and fresh kitchen scraps, which are a rich source of nitrogen, while browns consist of dry leaves and twigs that provide the required carbon.  The microorganisms that break down these materials into compost require a balanced diet of nitrogen for protein production and carbon for energy.  In order to maintain this balance your compost pile should consist of equal amounts of both types of materials.  In order to minimize odor and unwanted critters, place greens in the middle of the pile and cover with the browns.  Examples of both types are given below:

Greens:  grass clippings, weeds, manure, vegetable and fruit scraps, coffee grounds, eggshells, tea bags Browns: grass clippings, dry leaves, saw dust, shredded newspapers, brown grass clippings, cut-up cardboard

Your objective for this week is to gather the above materials and separate into browns and greens.

Also, I did receive a couple of responses to last week’s Green Mondays email.  I was first reminded of a composting service in Silver Spring called the Compost Crew that provides a bin and picks up once a week:  https://compostcrew.com/.  For those who live outside of Silver Spring, similar organizations likely exist in your area if you prefer to contribute to composting efforts outside of your own house.  Also, if you are interested in starting a community composting effort, please check out www.makesoil.org.  Thanks for these great ideas!

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