Apparently, compost is the new sourdough. If the hobby of the first wave of COVID-19 was baking bread, the passion of the second wave is converting household waste. Bunnings saw a 33 percent increase in sales of compost systems this year: After all, we fight against waste in the kitchen and love our gardens.
Vegetable and fruit scraps create rich soils across Australia. Recognition:iStock
Compost is the nutrient-rich, moisture-retaining, growth-promoting and resistance-promoting garden gold that is created when a combination of wet and dry plant material is broken down by a universe of microorganisms and invertebrates. A typical gold medal compost recipe for success could include one part vegetable and fruit scraps, two parts grass clippings or soft green pieces from the garden, four parts dry leaves and twigs, and one part poultry manure to encourage the whole pile to take off.
In an ideal world, these materials are layered to form a lasagna about one cubic meter in size. The whole thing is thrown or aerated every two weeks and has turned into sweet-smelling, fine-crumbly compost after just six to eight weeks. While this compost is baking, another lasagna begins to fill with materials.
However, most of us don’t live in an ideal world with space for at least two compost bays.
How you solve the problem of limited space and kitchen waste depends on your priorities. If the main goal is healthier soils for feeding vegetables and other plants, a drum composter on a sturdy frame is the best choice for gardeners with smaller spaces. Pick something that you can spin to spin and mix the content and speed distribution. Make sure there are two sections – one for the material on its way to the compost and one that is being filled – and easy-to-open doors for easy removal of the contents. Use a mix of wet and dry ingredients for better quality. Once the compost is ready, either dig it in the ground or use it as a mulch.
However, if it is more about reducing the container’s contents than feeding plants, try a Green Cone Solar Composter. The bottom of the composter is buried in the ground, and then you fill the 70 cm high top with kitchen scraps – including meat, fish, and bones. You can even add limited amounts of pet poo. In warm weather, this type of composter will process four kilograms of waste per week and leach nutrient-rich fluid into the surrounding soil.
A bokashi is useful for even smaller garden areas. This is a closed bucket system that ferments waste and can sit on or under the kitchen bench. The result is a very concentrated, nutrient-rich liquid that can be diluted – two teaspoons to one liter of water – and used as a plant tonic. The bucket holds kitchen waste worth around two weeks. Once it’s full, the garbage should be buried in the garden – or put in the composting bay of a friend who lives in an ideal world.
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