© J.N. Urbanski

© J.N. Urbanski

If you have acreage, there’s no reason not to compost. Half of the topsoil on the planet has been lost in the last 150 years, according to the World Wildlife Fund, and it can be replenished with organic material like kitchen food scraps, peelings, dead leaves, tea bags and coffee grounds. Another astonishing statistic: the USDA reported in June 2013 that it estimates that food waste in America is 30 to 40% of the entire US food supply and it goes into landfill every year. Seattle recently made it the law to compost and, here in the Catskills you can have your food scraps taken away, but there’s no reason why you can’t just make the compost and throw it in your forest or on your garden. Nature consumes all.

Composting is as easy as throwing your food scraps in another container instead of the garbage, that’s it.

Collect food waste in your kitchen. You can buy small kitchen counter top containers with carbon filters to mask the smell. Or you can collect it in a bowl and cover with a towel. Don’t compost meat scraps if you live in the country because you’ll attract bears. In fact, meat, bones, and fatty foods, such as cheese, sauces, salad dressing, and leftover cooking oil, should be put in the garbage.

You can either make your own large composting container or buy a barrel to put outside. Empty your counter top container into the large barrel daily or weekly with a cup or two of soil and turn the barrel.

You can download a complete composting guide from Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency.

2 thoughts on “Compost

  1. William A. Piervincenzi

    All good advice, but I would add the caution that food that might attract the wrong animals must be containered securely. Most meat and bones will be consumed by crows before other animals get to them, but rats, skunks and coyotes will also be attracted to these food items. I simply throw them on the heap, along with my wife’s cigarette butts and my dog’s feces. The I cover it all up with a few inches of soil. In a couple of weeks, it is all good compost. I also compost all weeds from my garden and from my ponds. The are a good source of nutrients and soil conditioners. It is also a good way to keep my ponds from becoming eutrophic and choked with vegetation. Composting gives you a second harvest of “Black Gold.”

  2. William A. Piervincenzi

    In Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass”, there is a poetic passage entitled: “This Compost”. I won’t quote it directly, but Whitman exclaims: “What Chemistry!” He is referring to all the evil that we put into the earth and how the earth converts it to nature’s bounty. What chemistry, indeed.


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