The process of taking your normally discarded produce scraps, coffee grounds, fall leaves, etc. - - putting them in a composter(or compost pile) and having it produce beautiful sold(black gold to me) in a few months is a wonderful full circle of life kind of thing. OR you can throw it in a garbage bag ( that by the way costs money) -then store with your garbage stash for the week – then have to take out to the street for the weekly pickup- then bring the trash cans back in after pick up. Composting sounds like an easier process and a beautiful way to honor the earth– rather than throwing out to the trash.
Things that can be composted: Vegetables/Herbs and scraps, Shredded paper – not glossy/colored, Coffee Grounds – with or without filters, Grass clippings, Eggs shells, Tea Bags, Pet hair, Fireplace Ash, Leaves, Wood Chips, Hay/Straw, Chicken/Cow/Horse Manure(any animal that is a vegetable eater only), Paper towels/napkins, Flower petals and stems, Fruit peels.
Things that shouldn’t be composted:
Dog or cat feces or any carnivorous animal (can carry parasites), Meat and Bone Scraps
Mayonnaise, salad dressing, peanut butter and other oily foods, Dairy products, Glossy colored paper
As far as composting process – that is so easy. Just take your scraps, paper, leaves, etc out to the compost bin and dump in. I like to have a contained bin that I just take off the top, dump in and turn occasionally to mix. You can also have a contained area that you can turn with a pitch fork or shovel once a week to speed the process. Your area can be built anywhere except up against a structure such as a shed or a solid fence. Worms and bugs help your compost but you don’t want them in the shed or the house. Even a garbage can be used – I would just drill some holes for ventilation first.
There is a science to composting to make it break down easier. The microbes responsible for breaking down your compost pile need a balanced diet of nitrogen and carbon. Brown items such as leaves, straw, hay, shredded paper and sawdust are high in carbon. Grass clippings, manure and kitchen scraps provide nitrogen. The microbes responsible for breaking down your compost pile need a balanced diet of nitrogen and carbon.. A ratio that contains equal portions by weight (not volume) of both works best.
It should be damp- not wet. Place in the sunlight for quicker breakdown.
Keep a large coffee can or indoor composter under your kitchen sink for kitchen scraps. It can sit a few days before any odor starts. Coffee grounds have a pleasant smell that hides most other odors - keep them in the paper filter, it will break down too!
If you are afraid of snakes – put human hair around the pile to keep them away. Next time you are at the hairdresser – ask for your hair back or use your families if you trim your own.