Compost 101

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Getting Started

Composting requires a compost bin or worm farm. Both can be built or purchased from tip shops or hardware stores. Composting needs to happen outside, in a shady and cool place. These bins store your food scraps as they decompose back into soil. However some food scraps should not be put in the compost.

You should NOT compost these foods:

  • Meat
  • Bread, pasta, rice or cereal
  • Milk, cheese or yoghurt
  • Foods that are really mouldy
  • Chili
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruit or mandarins

What to do with your food scraps

It’s easy! Just put them in the compost bin, and wait. It takes 6-12 months for food to break down, and then you can find soil at the bottom of your bin whilst putting new food scraps on the top.

Worm farm or compost bin?

Worm farms are great for kids to help out with, and in houses that don’t have a lot of space. We have two in our apartment courtyard. Worms break down food faster and love eggshells, but you need to keep them cool and wet. Worm farms also produce water that you can tap into and water your plants with nutrient-rich worm juice.

If you have the space and produce a lot of food waste though, it’s better to have a large compost bin. Worm farms aren’t very big and don’t store as much waste as compost bins.

EWWWWW! What’s that smell?!?!?!?!

Composting can result in some pretty funky fumes coming out of your bin. If you’re finding the smell too much, you can buffer the food scraps with hay or newspaper, and mix lyme through your bin.

Pro tips

  • Blend or finely chop your food scraps before composting them. This means they’ll break down faster and with less smell.
  • Get a rotating bin, or turn your bin every few weeks. Mixing the food scraps through the soil speeds up decomposition.
  • If you have room, you can get two compost bins. Once one is full, you can leave it to decompose as you fill up the other. Then you have a bin full of great soil all the time!

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