First, you'll need to decide which method best suits you, likely decided by how much space you have.
For small scale starters or city dwellers, (like us at Mythic Goat Coffee!) there are containers the size of large flower pots that function beautifully, or you can use an actual Compost Tumbler. For those folks with a bit more yard space or land, you might consider building your own using wooden pallets or encasement. Videos are posted at the bottom of this post to provide easy visuals and help you get started today!
Either route you choose, it’s important to know what you can and can’t compost at home, so be sure to do some additional research.
To make it simple, compostable items can be broken down into two categories: Greens and Browns.
Greens are considered products like grass clippings, coffee grounds, and fruit/vegetable waste. These sources are rich in nitrogen. We also like to think of these items as having more moisture.
Browns are carbon rich materials like eggshells, dead leaves, branches, newspaper, and other wood based products. These items tend to be your 'dry items.'
You want to try and keep a good mix of each to get the most out of your compost, which can be ready to use in as little as three weeks.
Reminder, never try to compost meat or other animal products, weeds, or any sort of synthetic chemicals! They’ll ruin you compost and could be harmful to you and those that would use your compost.
If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of composting or more about sustainability in general, check out our friends!! Facebook.com/SustainableEd2020
Types of Composting
“Tumbler” Style -
This type of composting utilizes a sealed container which can be rotated to mix the contents within. This container is typically a drum, mounted horizontally on a pole, with a door on the side. Tumbler style can also be done manually covering the compost with a layer of 'brown' such as leaves, and using a shovel or garden tool to manually churn the compost pile.
Tumbler composting does require a bit of attention, but not an excess of time. If not turned frequently enough or if allowed to dry out through disuse, your compost will begin to digest anaerobically and give off a less than pleasant scent. You can help maintain a proper moisture level by adding water when needed.
This style of composting utilizes worms to help break down our waste. The worms, in conjunction with bacteria, help the compost maintain moisture and circulate oxygen, thus preventing anaerobic digestion and the release of foul odors.
Since the worms do the tumbling for you, there’s no need to turn the soil or worry about unpleasant odors. In fact, vermicomposting can even be done indoors.
Written by Tyler Chandler, who holds a
Master's Degree in Sustainability Solutions and Founder of Sustainable Ed.