Home Composting

Composting Workshop - Saturday 19th March, 10 am - 2 pm

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It is possible to produce good quality garden produce from a range of kitchen waste (vegetable peelings, paper etc) and garden cuttings in a relatively short space of time and with minimal equipment. However, there are some simple techniques that can improve the quality of the compost.      

    An expert in the field of home composting, Nicky Scott, has authored several books on composting and recycling. He also advises schools, local authorities and businesses on composting kitchen waste and helps set up community composting groups.  Check out his web site HERE

The “hot box” composter he developed is widely used for composting food waste. Nicky has agreed to visit Stoke St Gregory and run a four-hour ‘workshop’ which will include ‘hands-on’ demonstrations. For the practical part of the workshop, Nicky will use prepared compost and answer any queries on the topic. There will be a small charge for the workshop, but it will be subsidised from SEG funds.

Get in touch envirostoke@yahoo.com if you would like to come along

Why Home Composting?

Compost is a pile of organic waste that over time breaks down or 'decomposes' into a nutrient rich soil. The compost pile is usually made of a mixture of green organic materials like food scraps, garden trimmings or fresh manure and brown organic materials like dead or dry leaves, cardboard and wood chips. The green materials contain a chemical called nitrogen and the brown materials contain a chemical called carbon. Add air and water, and the bacteria and moulds, as well as creatures like worms and insects can feed on the organic matter and help to break it down.

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It is estimated that almost half of the food waste in the average rubbish bin could have been composted.  You can do your bit to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill or other more costly forms of treatment by composting your food and garden waste at home. 

You may ask "Why do I need to compost - and why should I worry when my local council does food waste collections?" It saves money, saves resources, can help to improve your soil and can reduce your impact on the environment.  Did you know, composting at home for can save global warming gases equivalent to all the CO2 your kettle produces annually, or your washing machine produces in three months?

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What to Compost?

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The best compost will be made from a mixture of 'greens' and 'browns' in the table, and it's always best not to put too much of one thing on at a time (unless you are able to fork it in well with the mixture). The table below shows what NOT to compost.

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An increasing amount of packaging is now labelled as 'compostable', but beware! Some of it can only be processed industrially at high temperatures. For a look at the different labels you might find in this minefield see HERE

There are plenty of helpful web sites out there - just put 'home composting' in your search box. The Eden Project has also produced a useful video See HERE

Happy Composting and don't forget 19th March