Saturday, January 21, 2017

Making a Complex Problem Simple as Dirt (Part 2)

In our last exciting (com)post about compost, you got to meet Pashon Murray and learn of the surprisingly amazingly huge impact that something as simple as composting can have on shrinking your carbon footprint. Composting gives each and every one of us a chance to put released carbon back where it came from - the ground. Seriously cool stuff!

So, this is the follow-up where we look at getting our hands dirty - really, really dirty. [For those of you who really, really don't like the sound of dirty hands, we'll look at some options for you too, but it'll be in the third installment.]

But first, let's get to know you a little better.
So, do you come here often?
Do you eat food?
Do you live near any plants?
Do you breathe?
Do you live in an apartment, a home, or something exotic (like a hippie van or missile silo)?
Coffee, tea, water, or Dr.Pepper?
Paper or plastic?
How do you feel about earthworms? Mealworms? Black soldier flies and their offspring?

If you know the answers to these questions, you'll be better prepared to become a rocking composter.

Then there's two big things to know: what you can easily compost, and the ratio of green stuff to brown stuff.

What Goes In

As a general rule, unprocessed plant-based stuff composts, most animal stuff does not. There are exceptions on both sides, but that'll get you going. [One notable exception, the poop of herbivores (vegetarian animals) is very good for composting, but not everyone has a cow or horse in the backyard.] This graphic will help you with more detail:

The Green and the Brown

Great info from Ecoizm: Composting 101

For those of you who want to keep it really simple - go 3:1. The recipe is 3 parts brown stuff to 1 part green stuff. This will help you create healthy and balanced compost. If you're balance is way off, you can end up with some really stinky slimy stuff or a pile of dry stuff that does not decompose into the good stuff. On the other hand, this is not rocket science. Do not be intimidated by composting. Even if you failed chemistry or biology in school. You can do it!

Well, you've made it through another episode of Mesquite Hugger! For our next exciting compost installment, we'll discuss the how and the where, and we'll talk about bugs! I can't wait - how 'bout you? And we'll work on a new hashtag! (#putitbackintheground)

May we be an army of simples fixing a mountain of complicateds!

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