Article Environment

How to prepare a compost

compost
Written by KARTIKEYA KUMAR

Though some people might laugh it away as common knowledge, some of us are still not aware about the art of composting. Some of us are not aware of the fact that we can dispose off our food wastes in such a manner that it could add to the fertility of the soil. We are still not aware that there exists such a simple method, which, if implemented correctly, would do a great favor to mother nature.

Even before cooking vegetable and stuff, there is a lot of stuff that goes waste-fruit and vegetable peels, egg shells, onion peels and other such stuff. If you are the sort of family who hands it over to the waste collector or dump it at a nearby landfill, all you are doing is adding it to the miseries of the earth. All of this waste is being heaped up in huge isolated pieces of land, or by the sides of oceans, and are resulting in global warming by producing greenhouse gases, and the Great Pacific Garbage patch respectively.

compost

Composting not only improves the condition of your soil, it utilizes organic wastes as well.

Is there a way we can dispose of this stuff to save the land, water as well as the air we breathe? Yes, we can. By composting.

How to make a compost.

  1. Identify an area in your garden that receives enough direct sunlight and dig a hole that is at least two feet deep and three feet wide.
  2. To strengthen the structure (the compost pit), you can pack the sides and bottom by a small stone or brick lining.
  3. Start pouring in the organic waste. It would be preferable to start with egg shells, shredded paper, grass clippings or leaves; followed by a layer of animal fertilizers-cow dung, horse excreta, poultry manure, etc. You can add a layer of soil and repeat this process in layers till it reaches the top. Water the ingredients till the time they are soaked. Cover the pit with soil (if that’s not already the top layer) and spread it evenly to make a flat top.

 

compost pot tumbler

Composting can be done in a pot or tumbler if you don’t have enough garden space.

4. It would be a great idea to keep adding the waste every day till the pit is not full. Turn the contents with a hovel around once a week and occasionally add a small amount of water to keep the pile moist.

5. Your compost shall be ready within 6 to 8 weeks. You can identify its smell with that of wet earth. Its texture is crumbly like a powder and you can use it for gardening purposes for plants grown on the ground as well as in pots. You can make as many such pits in your backyard, just make sure you note the digging date by demarking the pit(s).

Like many green initiatives that get rewards, Pune Municipal Corporation (India) will soon be awarding societies employing composting with ‘Thank you’ boards, which would be a great incentive for other societies in the vicinity to follow suit.

The moral of the story is that there is lot of food waste that we have to dispose each day. From the moment it goes to trash till the point it is recycled or taken away by the waste collector, we take it as a burden. And the worms taking rounds of your garden are your biggest nemesis.

But with composting, your food wastes and even your little garden worms help you and the earth the same way a friend does. The only thing they won’t give you is a high five.  

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KARTIKEYA KUMAR

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