[Not my compost heap]
Composting, NO Silver Bullet – But!
Season 3 – Autumn/Winter 2019/20
I had two interesting conversations with people today, the neighbours on my left [John and Geraldine] both in their 80’s and retired and Sam next door to my right [in his 60’s and still working full time but on shifts with the Railways] J&G are no longer vegetable gardeners, but mostly ornamental flowers and shrubbery gardeners, whilst Sam loves vegetable gardening, was raised on a vegetable farm and tries to spend as much time as he can outside when either not working, being with his partner or playing saxaphone down in the town.
I spent an hour this morning outside and working with the garden – it’s overcast and cold now, but this morning from 8 – 11am it was sunny, warm and really pleasant to be in. On the average day provided it is sunny and not raining – l try to spend the minimum of an hour pottering around in the back garden either raking up leaves from J&G’s huge tree that over shadows our garden, or filling the quickly emptying bird feeders, small weeding or even shredding down the kitchen wastes.
This morning, after yesterday’s wind l raked up a load of leaves, but also l popped next door to J&G and offered to sweep up their fallen leaves, leaves are exceptional for the compost heap.
Geraldine was already outside sweeping her pathway, but she was also telling me about an article she was writing for the Women’s Institute on The Royal Funerals and the Pomp of Death, whilst l was telling her about the newly extended ‘Doin’ The Dirt series and how l was trialling lots of different methods with regards composting.
We then started talking about how down in the village where we live the Parish council are trying to develop a ‘village community’ compost heap for the village gardens and are facing huge arguments from residents about the uselessness of composting and that it is NOT a silver bullet against the global issues the world faces! [Trust me l know what you are thinking …. seriously?? But yes, we still have villagers here that think the world is flat and that climate warning is some big huge poltical joke!]
So Geraldine and l were discussing the supposed myths concerning ‘composting’ which will form the basis of today’s post. The second post will be published tomorrow and that was the conversation Sam and l had about composting – and more importantly ‘ what methods were there for those with limited time and limited space? Which l thought was also an excellent question to write about tomorrow.
Time to Debunk Composting Myths!
Composting in whatever format one decides to roll with is a great way to individually reduce the amount of waste product hitting the landfills every day, week, month and year. As a past time it is a true gift for satisfaction, mental health and wellbeing, as well as every little bit can help the environmental and organic movement.
Whether you produce compost soils for your gardens or compost liquids for your vegetables and flowers it offers a huge sense of ‘doing something postive’. Which l would rather think on personally instead of continually knocking those who at least try to reduce their footprint.
It can be fun as well as provide you with the reasons to get out and about and enjoying being outside.
There are always going to be those naysayers who think differently about things and try where they can to convince people that their opinions are the only ones worth listening and adhering to – that’s their perrogative, just like it’s yours should you choose to start composting – however – let’s take a look at Myth and Reality first shall we?
1] Myth – It’s Time Consuming!
A] Reality – It can be, but it doesn’t have to be – you decide the time you wish to allocate to your compost heap, as well as make the right decisions concerning 1] what you want to compost for and 2] what you want to do with the finished product. Once you decide ‘what it is you want to do’, you then strategise your time to fit into your freetime.
2] Myth – From rubbish to finished product takes too long!
A] Reality – It isn’t that slow actually, it will come down to your choice of composter and your time management – but with the right system in place you could have nutrient rich soils in as little as 6-8 weeks.
3] Myth – It’s TOO Complex!
A] Reality – No, it’s not rocket science folks – it is a very easy method – taking once living content and subjecting it to a process of breaking down into a finished product and therefore releasing nutrients and richness back into the natural environment. It is simply put ‘speeding up the process of decompostion’.
4] Myth – There are too many rules!!
A] Reality – Again, not true – there are ‘recipes’ for composting, l have followed them myself, the so called ‘rules’ but the reality is even more direct than that! With composting, you don’t need rules for ‘shit’ to break down into nothing. You can adopt a system that works for you, or adopt a ‘no rules’ composting strategy. Truth is there are many easy ways to compost without being too regimental about it. Look at nature herself – every year she drops dead vegetation, leaves and foliage and over time and the elements they all break down and turn into a natural earthen compost.
5] Myth – I’ll be overrun with rodents!
A] Reality – If you are producing an organic compost heap – you’ll not have that problem, if however you are breaking down dairy and meat products you could do – but there are ways to deal with that [as in different composting systems] – closed composters deter vermin – but sticking to vegetables and garden waste also mean no rodents.
6] Myth – I don’t want to buy expensive equipment!
A] Reality – you don’t have to, it’s a personal choice which system you adopt for your composting – you can make many of your own systems for breaking down organic content.
7] Myth – I don’t have lots of space or a ‘composting station/yard!’
A} Reality – you don’t need lots of open space – there are many different styles of composting available to people.
8] Myth – Shredding scraps from the kitchen is messy and they are too!
A] Reality – the collection of your kitchen waste/scraps is a very easy affair from small kitchen bins to eco-friendly bin liners make collection very simple indeed. In so far as shredding or cutting down – that is a personal ‘breaking down’ method, you can throw your kitchen wastes directly into your heap!
9] Myth – It will smell – reeeeeeeeally bad!!
A] Reality – who have you been talking to? Your compost will only smell for a couple of reasons 1] insufficient turning or way too wet content and no movement. If it starts to smell, it’s very easy to rectify.
10] Myth – l don’t have a garden – l only have a patio and containers!
A] Reality – no problem, there are many indoor composters [small] that can help resolve this issue. Plus, maybe the answer for you is to simply try for compost liquids.
11] Myth – Not everything can be composted!
A] Reality – well you’re right, plastic, brick and metal do NOT compost [but they should not be placed into an ORGANIC compost heap] – there are also some fruits like citrus that can overload or could have an adverse effect on your heap, but with the latter – again there are ways around this as well as alternative environmental uses. Truth is – most organic material can be composted down. Basically ‘anything that lived can go into your compost heap!’ But so too can you add tea leaves, coffee grounds, paper, shavings and sawdust, hair, feathers ….
12] Myth – It’s not worth my time!
A] Reality – composting is a significantly distinct way of reducing your home waste – roughly 40% of the average household’s waste content is viable for composting. By adopting this process you are single handedly ensuring that your organic waste is NOT entering a landfill where it would produce methane gas which would then in turn aid the slow decline of our system and the further breakdown of our climate.
Global warming needs no encouragement to continue its decline. By composting you are aiding soil composition and adding valuable nutrients back into the system – this in turn means we don’t need more chemical composts or fertilisers.
Finally, think on this …. producing your own compost actually doesn’t just help the environment but it saves you money! If you are a gardener that would normally buy a lot of bagged compost material or liquid fertilisers – by producing it yourself – you are saving the money and our planet!
Win Win in my books!
l’ll take my leave of you now
Thanks for reading everyone, till the next time …