Sunday, May 06, 2012

International Compost Awareness Week - May 6-12

May 6-12 is International Compost Awareness Week. This important educational program is sponsored by the US Composting Council, with the theme of Compost! …Replenish the Earth for Generations, and supported by the Compost Council of Canada, with the theme of Give Back to the Earth … COMPOST!

This year's ICAW poster contest was won by Emily Bibler, a graphic designer from Chamness Technology, Inc., in Iowa. Information about ordering can be found at the US Composting Council website.

Composting helps the environment by reducing waste in landfills. It also improves soil quality in your garden for free. You can read about the technical aspects of composting, but basically it’s organic matter that’s broken down with the assistance of organisms such as bacteria, fungi, worms, and insects.

At my floating cabin, there's no place for waste disposal. Early on, I learned the benefits of composting both my kitchen scraps and garden waste. Items I use in composting include:

kitchen waste (fruit and vegetable scraps)
garden waste (plant trimmings, dead leaves)
sawdust and shavings from untreated wood
ashes from our wood stove in small quantities
I found a small compost container to put on my sink. To accelerate breakdown, I chop tough items into small pieces before they go in. I put crushed mint leaves from the garden in with the scraps to keep odor under control. It all goes up the hill to the compost pile every few days anyway. The greatest benefit is that the scraps don't sit in the waste basket to rot and smell. Now they rot and do some good in my garden. Now isn't that the smell of success?

Do you compost? Let us hear some of your success stories. -- Margy

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