We believe in working towards a closed-loop system on our farm. That means, rather than throwing away our plant waste and buying outside fertilizers, we work to recycle our own nutrients through composting. Compost is the process by which plant matter (including food waste, end-of-season plants, and wood chips from pruning) are mixed together and aerated, and then break down to form a concentrated source of nutrients that can then be added back into the soil. While these piles might look a little messy, they are not just thrown together and left to sit! Plant material is “composted” best when it contains a balance of nitrogen-rich material, like food scraps and green leaves, and carbon-rich material, like brown cardboard, newspaper, and woodchips. Oxygen is the last key ingredient to composting; like feeding a fire, compost breaks down quicker and with fewer rotten smells when the microorganisms are able to breathe as they eat. We don’t use much special equipment, only a bit of knowledge and a pitchfork, to turn our leftovers into nutritious plant food.
You can do it!
Composting is possible in even the smallest backyard or patio, and is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and create nutrients to feed your plants! Even houseplants can benefit from a dose of compost. If you prefer to just collect your kitchen scraps and have someone else do the rest, check out the services from Rust Belt Riders (https://www.rustbeltriders.com).