Posts Tagged ‘indoor composting’

Home Composting Essentials

Sunday, December 4th, 2011

On a positive note, composting itself already delivers a major impact on the environment. And creating organic compost comes from a natural process that can certainly be done at home. Each year, hundreds of pounds worth of organic wastes are produced and collected from households, which are just dumped on landfills. So what better way to dispose of these food and yard wastes? Simply have these broken down into a nutritious garden resource! Practice home composting and see what a big difference it can make to your surroundings.

Stop Pollution and Practice Home Composting!
Would you believe that 1/3 of the U.S. landfills are comprised of organic wastes (these can be your typical kitchen scraps, garden wastes, etc.)?  Well, it is a fact. These scraps often contribute to the existing pollution especially when these are burnt to pieces. But with certain outdoor or indoor composting activities at home, this problem can be definitely minimized. Through composting, waste matter can be transformed into a useful organic supply. A garden resource that can help enhance both plant and soil properties.
Basics for an effective home composting: Moisture Content and Microorganisms
Whether you plan on trying out aerobic composting or worm composting, you must take into consideration 5 important elements. The first two components that you must look out for is the moisture content inside the bin, and the organisms that will be present in the system. Now if you’re looking to produce and harvest finished compost in a quicker timeframe, then you’ll have to make sure that there are microbes inside the bin (a good example of this would be red wiggler worms, good bacteria, and fungi). These microorganisms are actually the ones that will be responsible for consuming and converting organic wastes into a nutritious garden mix.
Now, the moisture content on the other hand shouldn’t be overlooked. The ideal consistency should be that of a wrung-out sponge when placed inside composting bins (should at least be in between 40%-60%). Leaving an organic bedding that is too dry may slow down the natural process. But leaving the bedding soaking wet can also deprive the compost materials from getting any oxygen.
Basics for an effective home composting: Aeration
Aeration is important as it helps expose both the compost materials and beneficial microbes to an adequate air supply. Microbes require oxygen to be able to subsist so it’s vital for these microorganisms to get their fill of air inside the system (applies for either indoor or outdoor composting). Aeration, which allows for a regular tuning and mixing, also helps reduce decomposing natural materials from producing foul odors.
Basics for an effective home composting: Carbon and Nitrogen Ratio
It is best to establish a good carbon (75%) and nitrogen (25%) ratio. Your carbon or ‘browns’ can be classified as dead plants, twigs, barks, leaves, straw, and presoaked newspaper or cardboard shreds. Your nitrogen or ‘greens’ on the other hand can be that of cut grass, animal manure (you can only use manure produced by plant-eating animals), fruit or vegetable peels, and tea bags.
Basics for an effective home composting: Temperature
The best condition for a home composting project is between 90-140 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything that goes under or beyond it may slow down the process.

On a positive note, composting itself already delivers a major impact on the environment. And creating organic compost comes from a natural process that can certainly be done at home. Each year, hundreds of pounds worth of organic wastes are produced and collected from households, which are just dumped on landfills. So what better way to dispose of these food and yard wastes? Simply have these broken down into a nutritious garden resource! Practice home composting and see what a big difference it can make to your surroundings.

Stop Pollution and Practice Home Composting!

Would you believe that 1/3 of the U.S. landfills are comprised of organic wastes (these can be your typical kitchen scraps, garden wastes, etc.)?  Well, it is a fact. These scraps often contribute to the existing pollution especially when these are burnt to pieces. But with certain outdoor or indoor composting activities at home, this problem can be definitely minimized. Through composting, waste matter can be transformed into a useful organic supply. A garden resource that can help enhance both plant and soil properties.

Basics for an effective home composting: Moisture Content and Microorganisms

Whether you plan on trying out aerobic composting or worm composting, you must take into consideration 5 important elements. The first two components that you must look out for is the moisture content inside the bin, and the organisms that will be present in the system. Now if you’re looking to produce and harvest finished compost in a quicker timeframe, then you’ll have to make sure that there are microbes inside the bin (a good example of this would be red wiggler worms, good bacteria, and fungi). These microorganisms are actually the ones that will be responsible for consuming and converting organic wastes into a nutritious garden mix.

Now, the moisture content on the other hand shouldn’t be overlooked. The ideal consistency should be that of a wrung-out sponge when placed inside composting bins (should at least be in between 40%-60%). Leaving an organic bedding that is too dry may slow down the natural process. But leaving the bedding soaking wet can also deprive the compost materials from getting any oxygen.

Basics for an effective home composting: Aeration

Aeration is important as it helps expose both the compost materials and beneficial microbes to an adequate air supply. Microbes require oxygen to be able to subsist so it’s vital for these microorganisms to get their fill of air inside the system (applies for either indoor or outdoor composting). Aeration, which allows for a regular tuning and mixing, also helps reduce decomposing natural materials from producing foul odors.

Basics for an effective home composting: Carbon and Nitrogen Ratio

It is best to establish a good carbon (75%) and nitrogen (25%) ratio. Your carbon or ‘browns’ can be classified as dead plants, twigs, barks, leaves, straw, and presoaked newspaper or cardboard shreds. Your nitrogen or ‘greens’ on the other hand can be that of cut grass, animal manure (you can only use manure produced by plant-eating animals), fruit or vegetable peels, and tea bags.

Basics for an effective home composting: Temperature

The best condition for a home composting project is between 90-140 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything that goes under or beyond it may slow down the process.

It’s Earth Day – What are you Doing to help the Environment?

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

You’ve seen the flyers around for Earth Day events in your community. Maybe your child has done an eco-related project at school over the last week. Why not consider making one change in your lifestyle that can help the environment?

  • Stop buying bottled water. Even with the bottles that can biodegrade, using a washable water bottle and the water from your water filter is a much more Earth-friendly option.
  • Recycle. Does your town require you to recycle plastic, glass and paper? What about your food scraps? You can always set up a second bin to hold your food scraps to use in the local compost heap.
  • Compost your yard. In lieu of chemical feeds, use compost to feed your garden and yard. You can make your own compost, or buy it.
  • Eat with reusable plates, silverware and cups. No more paper or Styrofoam for you. Buy heavy duty plastic for your events or parties.

If everyone made the effort to make one of the above changes in their homes, then we could officially call Earth Day 2011 a success!

Got the Can’t Compost in the City Blues? Time for a New Song…

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

You are a new-age, eco-minded urban type who takes the time to recycle, to bring cloth bags along to shop. You ride your bike around town to avoid clogging up the ozone layer and use real plates and cloth napkins in lieu of paper. Despite all your great effort – you feel like you aren’t completely green, and despite what Kermit the Frog sang, it really IS easy being green, even in the city.

With all community effort being turned towards composting in the city (www.growNY.com among others) now is the time to take your eco-lifestyle to the next level with a few indoor-composting tips for space or yard-challenged city dwellers.

Buy a Bin
Get one that will fit in a pantry or cupboard and is about two foot high.  Drill holes in the base for drainage. Set it up on top of a dish drainer or plastic tray to catch the excess and you’re ready to add your organic materials. (Check out indoor compost bins)

Worms are Your Friends
The first step to indoor composting is understanding that to be successful, you must compost with worms. Red worms, to be exact, are the key to indoor composting.  This doesn’t mean that you have to go out in your yard with a flashlight and find them. Red wrigglers are grown for composters and can be found here. This hearty breed of worm loves warm temperatures and thrives in indoor bins.

Layer it Up

Fill the bottom twelve inches or so of your bin with damp leaves, sawdust, non-toxic newspaper, glass clipping or shredded leaves.   Make sure these materials are damp with no dry spots – this helps the worms stay moist and healthy.  Add your worms (link to red wrigglers page) at a rate of about 500 worms for every cubic foot of worm bin space. It sounds like a lot of wriggly little guys, but they’ll get along well.

Feed the Tenants

What you out in your worm bin is key to the health of your worms and the quality of your compost. Your kitchen scraps like coffee grounds, fruit and vegetable leavings and grains are a great source for your worms. Do not use meat scraps or bones, garlic or dairy products. Your worms won’t like garlic either, so avoid it in your bin. Throw in a handful of soil during each feeding as a special treat.

Watch and Wait

Within about five months, give or take, you’ll see the bottom your bin fill with rich, loamy soil that you can use to feed your plants, trees, garden and lawn. You need to nothing more than harvest this and continue feeding those hungry little worms.  As with any other “pet”. Keeping an eye on the condition of your worms is necessary. They should breed quickly and thrive in their new home. If you are concerned about the lifespan of condition of your new “room mates”, contact us.

Tips for Worm Composting in the Fall with Red Wigglers

Friday, September 4th, 2009

Fall CompostingAll beatific visions, really, but exactly how do any of them apply to the gray-skied, brown grassed and hard-ground filled times of winter? Easy. It’s called preventative maintenance.

During the winter, there are ways to maintain your green lifestyle so you can more readily walk through your lush lawn and pick from your organic veggie garden come spring.

Here’s how:

Keep Your Eye on the Prize
When the winter cold gushes in leaving you indoors much more than out, more apt to be holding a cup of hot tea than your hoe or shovel, it’s still important to remember that your garden needs you to be green-minded.

If you have never had a compost pile before, then there’s no time like the present to begin one, freezing temperatures, snow and all. Indoor worm composting is a great way to create that dark brown, nutrient-rich soil your vegetables and fruits will thrive in. Contact us to learn more about indoor composting or see our products page for some indoor bin ideas. Don’t forget our Super Red Wiggler Worms, because indoor composting is only done with these little wrigglers. Your diligence will pay off come warm weather when your garden is hearty and bountiful.

ReDuce, ReUse, ReCycle?
Yup – Still Relevant in Winter

The winter months can lead to increased gas or oil usage for home heating, a fact that is tied to our extended fossil-fuel consumption as well as increased costs of living. In lieu of cranking up the heat when the wind starts to blow, try on that new sweater you got for the holidays or throw some blankets around to be grabbed during tv time. You can keep your heat lower and still be snuggly warm.

Continue recycling as usual and if possible, reuse paper plates and cups. Freezing water pipes can be a real issue during the cold winter months in some regions and paper and plastic consumption tends to rise. Reuse what you can and try to be mindful that each plate and cup is a little more of our natural resources being stripped away.

Like a Rolling Stone…
Continuing on with our plagiarized and clichéd headers, we know that idea of transportation during the winter can be a chore, too. However, there is no better time than winter to start that car pool you and your neighbor have chatted about over the fence for the last year or so. Reducing gas usage and wear and tear on your respective vehicles are great reasons to get to know your neighbor a little better. The clincher, in my opinion, is the 50% reduction in dealing with people on the road during your commute that panic over a dusting of snow and go ten miles and hour for four miles while you fret behind them. Grab your java, call shotgun, and snooze into the office.