Don’t be Poser, Be a Composter!!
By Kayla Zinsmeyer, Yenifer De Lara, Luz Cruz and Monserrat Guillen
Composting is when organic-degradable contents are mixed and decompose over time by bacteria & fungi. It is not a difficult process at all. Quite simple if you take a second to think about it. As simple as flipping the right material appropriately, and precisely. Compost takes time, you need to be patient. It won’t happen over time for sure, so don’t expect to have compost the very next day.
When you are composting, you should avoid meat/animal byproducts, dairy products, fats/oils/grease, coated paper, pet poop, and diseased plants/weed seeds. You should avoid these because they can either attract “friends” that you don’t want or mess up your composting processes. Some nitrogen-rich materials “the greens” you should add to your composting processes are vegetable/fruit peelings and scraps, inedible food leftovers,tea and coffee scraps, and fresh grass clippings. These items add nitrogen to the dirt so that the plants can grow healthier and faster. Materials like leaves and twigs, commonly called “the browns”, add a good source of Carbon to the compost, and Carbon is needed for every living organism, so you can see how it would be important.
Here at ARS, the process we use for composting is very simple. After we have collected all the leftovers from lunch we put all the scraps in one of the several composting systems in the courtyard. These are already filled with leaves, twigs and other dead organic matter, as we mentioned above “the browns”. Many of these containers spin, letting oxygen mix in with the decomposing organic materials. Now the bacteria and small organisms can break down all the compost so it is ready to add to your garden!
For our composting design, we will be using a design called the “wooden box bin”. The most likely place we will start the composting system is in the the upper left hand corner where it is easily accessible, but not an eyesore. This type of composting system is typically 3ft x 3ft x 3ft and is a good design for airflow, and a medium size group of users.
On Monday, February 3rd, Alan Watts came to Ann Richards, from the city of Austin, to give us more information on composting. He talked about the benefits of composting and how it could help us. Some benefits of composting he talked about are reducing trash, growing healthy/vibrant plants, protecting the groundwater, saving money, and helping Austin reach its zero waste goal to reduce the amount of waste sent to the landfills by 90% by 2040. He also gave us tips on what kinds of you should add to your composting bin.
Composting will do great things for your garden . There are a lot of benefits that come from composting, like protecting the groundwater and it doesn’t pollute the ocean like fertilize. Don’t forget that composing grows strong, beautiful plants, if you compose your plant might even be prettier than you. Just remember that composing is really good for your garden and for you, also remember that composting is FREE!!! Most importantly remember that. It’s better to be a composing than a poser.