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How to make homemade compost from your food waste

Did you know you can make compost at home, and you don't even need a garden? Help save the planet with your food waste with this guide to making compost.


HOW TO MAKE COMPOST WITH YOUR FOOD WASTE

Many of you have been producing veggies from your vegetable scraps in recent months, including lettuce and celery stubs, spring onion roots, and shoots from your carrots and beetroots. Your sprouting vegetables will eventually need to be replanted in nutrient-rich soil. Did you know that you could produce your compost at home from food scraps rather than purchasing it online? With the help of this instruction, you can make compost at home and reduce your food waste even more.


WHAT IS COMPOST?

Compost, a fertiliser generated by humans from decomposed materials, is nutrient-rich and aids in the growth of gardens. In the meantime, the soil is the top layer of the earth that includes minerals and rock fragments along with some organic substances. Compost is crucial because it improves soil quality, aids in nutrient and water retention, and lowers the risk of plant diseases.


IS MAKING COMPOST DIFFICULT?

You might think you need a garden, an expensive composter, or a tonne of gardening experience to make your compost because it sounds so complicated. Not you. If you reside in an urban apartment without a garden, this alternative will work.


WHICH THINGS CAN I COMPOST?

You can use eggshells, coffee grounds, tea bags, leftover fruit and vegetable scraps, and cuttings from your indoor plants when preparing compost at home using this technique. Any of these can be included in your compost. Just be aware that some items take longer to degrade than others, such as harder materials like pineapple, citrus rinds, and avocado stones.


Avoid including dairy, meat, fish, oil, or other fats. You may, however, compost these foods using the incredibly easy Bokashi method, but you'll need a place outside to bury the compost afterwards.


WHAT WILL I NEED?

  • The size of the container you use to make your compost will depend on the amount you plan to compost as well as the space you have available. It may be tiny enough to fit on your kitchen counter or as large as a conventional bin. It is best to use a standard trash can or a plastic box with a closed cover. Two containers might be necessary so you can continue composting your food waste once one is full.

  • a location where you can put your compost bin, such as under the sink or in a kitchen nook that's out of the way.

  • a drill to make holes in the trash can.

  • a little soil bag.

  • Dry carbon-based materials like torn-up toilet roll cardboard or old newspapers.

I HAVE EVERYTHING I NEED, WHAT NOW?

Start by making a few holes in your container's lid that are spaced quite far apart. This will allow air to flow, which will help your food scraps break down thanks to all those helpful microorganisms. You might also want to cover the holes with breathable fabric, such as hemp fabric, to keep fruit flies away.


Add some soil at the bottom of the container, cover it with some shredded newspaper, and then fill it with your kitchen scraps. The dry material keeps your compost's ratio of wet to dry in check and also prevents it from stinking.


Put the lid on the jar tightly and let the magic happen.


THEN WHAT?

As you go, place your food scraps in the trashcan. Any larger food scraps should be chopped into smaller pieces because smaller pieces will decompose more quickly.


Food scraps must also be combined with dry materials, such as shredded newspaper.


As a general guideline, you want a healthy mix of green materials (your food scraps), which supply nitrogen, to dry materials (such as newspaper, cardboard, dry leaves, egg shells, coffee filters, or wood pieces). The ratio of carbon to nitrogen in a healthy compost should be substantially higher. Use one-third green and two-thirds brown materials as a general guideline.


About once a week, sprinkle some soil over your compost and stir it.


WHEN IS MY COMPOST READY?

Depending on the size of your compost bin, it may take anywhere from six weeks to several months for your compost to be ready. It will be made of a shady, earthy-smelling substance.


A foul odour is never a good indication! To counterbalance the green, wet materials, increase the amount of dry, carbon-rich materials like a newspaper (described above). Additional holes may need to be drilled into the container cover.


WHAT DO I DO WITH MY HOMEMADE COMPOST?

Use it to report your sprouting vegetable scraps for a closed-loop, waste-free food system! When planting or repotting your seedling vegetables into containers, combine them with ordinary soil. Use 1 part compost to 2 parts soil since plants with roots can withstand more compost than seeds can.


Remove the top few centimetres of soil from your already-potted plants and replace it with your homemade compost to give the plants a boost. Additionally, you might use compost for your indoor plants.

If you have extra compost, give it safely to your neighbours or a nearby community garden!


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