Written by: on May 2, 2019 @ 9:35 am

 

 

For the month of May, we are going to learn how beneficial, interesting, and easy composting can be!  You may ask yourself: what is composting or why is it important? You may also question why we need compost at all? We are going to explore the science behind composting and discover what a useful resource it is! Lastly, we will share exactly how you can make your own compost at home.

What comes to mind when you hear the word, “compost”? Compost is decayed organic matter, which includes a wide range of materials, such as sticks, banana peels, egg shells, coffee grinds, fruits, and vegetables.  Compost does not contain animal products such as meat, fish, butter, cheese, milk, or other fats.  Compost forms naturally and is everywhere! For example: leaves and grass are two organic materials that “break down” or decompose. The rich, dark brown, crumbly soil-like material that results is compost!

Tiny micro-organisms like bacteria, actinobacteria, fungi, Protozoa, and rotifers assist with “breaking down” organic materials to form compost. Earthworms also aid in the conversion of organic materials into compost by ingesting the partially decomposed material. Earthworms aerate the compost by making holes and tunnels too.

Now that you know what compost is, why do you think it is so important? What are its benefits? Composting is a wonderful way for us to help the environment. When trash goes to a landfill, it emits methane gas, a greenhouse gas, that contributes to climate change.  By composting, we reduce this methane gas as well as produce a rich soil that can be used as fertilizer.  Farmers use fertilized soil to increase crop yield.  It retains water better than plain soil thus allowing farmers and gardeners to grow more food with less water. Also, soils that contain lots of decomposed organic matter, like compost, can store more food (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, sulfur, and calcium) for the plants to eat.  Composting can help save money on mulch, landscaping bills, trash/disposal services, and can even lower your water bill! How cool is compost?!

One of the best parts about composting is that you can make it right at home! There are so many different items that you can add to your compost pile. You want to make sure that your compost includes a mixture of “green” (Nitrogen heavy) materials and “brown” (Carbon heavy) materials like newspaper, card board, and dead plants.  Be sure to allow your compost pile to have access to sun, shade, movement, and add one tablespoon of water daily.  It will take some time for your pile to turn into soil, but you should notice a change within a few weeks!

Did you ever imagine that compost could be so exciting?  Its significance and benefits make it something fun!  Not only can it serve as mulch, but it can be mixed into soil to make very strong fertilizer! Composting helps save the environment and can even save your family some money. So, what are you waiting for?  Encourage and educate your household on its importance and start composting today!

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Catogories: E-News HTHT, Science

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