Composting Basics

Composting is like cooking, with many variations and recipes. Here is the basic approach:

All composting "ingredients" generally fall under one of two categories - "browns" or "greens."  Browns are dry materials such as wood chips, dried leaves, dried grass and other plants.  Greens are fresh, moist materials such as grass cuttings and food scraps (avoid meats, fats and grease.)

1.  Collect as much browns and greens as you can to start your compost pile.  An optimal size is about 3'-4' square.  Larger piles tend to hold moisture better and decompose faster.

2.  Place equal amounts of browns and greens in a heap or bin.  Always cover food scraps with others composting materials.

3.  Soak with water to create uniform dampness (damp as a wrung-out sponge.)  Cover pile with tarp or other material to keep moisture in and prevent over soaking from rain.

For quicker composting (1-3 months)

-  Chop materials into smaller pieces

-  Alternate 3" to 6" layers of greens and browns

-  Mix the pile by turning and stirring every 10 days

For slower composting (3-6 months)

-  Just keep adding materials to the pile or bin - it's that simple!