Compost at Home

This blog was going to be an amusing guide to how to compost food scraps at home. I even had my lead- one of my favorite memes of the election
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Lots of people picked up the uncanny resemblance between the then candidate that no one took seriously and a Halloween pumpkin. Hence the Trumpkin.
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Then last Tuesday happened. It turns out that enough people were angry, misguided, poorly informed or paying attention to Anthony Weiner's emails that many of us are now in the depths of despair.
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That is even more reason to compost at home. Realize that while one could argue that our newly elected president is deeply soiled, his hands have likely never touched the rich earth that sustains us. He is certainly unfamiliar with the quote or the reality:

"Humans, despite their artistic pretensions, their sophistications and their many accomplishments, owe their existence to a 6-inch layer of topsoil and the fact that it rains occasionally." (John Jeavons?)

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He may destroy the EPA, back out of the Paris Climate Accord but he won't take away your ability to build soil. If you don't live in a place where you can give your food scraps to someone else to compost- this is the time to start doing it yourself. It is not hard.

The basic idea is that food scraps will naturally decompose and produce a nutrient rich, lovely soil amendment. To make sure that happens and that you don't end up with a slimy mess- you want to make sure that your food scraps have enough room and oxygen to let them compost quickly and with minimal odor.

Browns and greens in layers is the best way to do this. Mix browns- (autumn leaves, woody material, branches are some examples) in alternating layers with the greens (not literally) here meaning your food scraps.
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Put them in a well- aerated container. You can turn the mixture if you are so inclined. You can also let time take its' course. You can do this in a structure that you build, you can also check out one of the > 1000 results on Amazon.
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The US Compost Council has guidance including links to US EPA and different States:
http://compostingcouncil.org/home-composters/

What does this get you and why is it a way to make what happened last week a little more bearable?
• Each wet ton of food scraps that get composted prevents the release of almost 0.8 tons of CO2 from landfills. That is pretty good considering that the food scraps are about 75% water.

• Each ton of food scraps that gets composted and added to soils saves an additional 0.2 tons of CO2 in soil

• Using compost instead of synthetic fertilizers saves up to 4 kg of CO2 for each kg of nitrogen fertilizer that you would have used.

It also gives you beautiful dirt. Compost makes soil healthier and more resilient to climate change. Soil with compost is richer in nutrients, has better structure and is able to absorb and hold onto more water. It also grows bountiful crops.
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So this Thanksgiving give thanks for a simple thing that you can do that can help save the world and put food on your table. And put your scraps in a compost pile.
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