In honor of Darwin Day, (February 12) I’m excited to bring you this post on how to make compost at home and all the reasons you should.
You might be wondering what the heck compost has to do with Darwin Day or what Darwin Day even is. Well, it’s a day to celebrate the brilliance of Charles Darwin and inspire people everywhere to embrace their own intellectual abilities and better the planet. You can read all about it and his accomplishments here. I’ll get into where composting fits into this in just a bit. But first, let’s talk about how to make compost at home.
How to Make Compost at Home
It is painfully easy. Simply throw any of your garbage that fits into the “it was once alive” category into a separate bin except for meat scraps. Put the contents of this bin in a specified area outdoors. Done.
I am, of course, going to go into more detail, but that’s really all that you need to do. Nature handles the rest. You’re really not going to mess it up. What was once alive will decompose. There is no fighting it. Nature is pretty great like that. She’s a master recycler. We should look up to her.
You can get as fancy or stay as basic as you want when composting at home. I like to make it a bit more glamorous, but that’s just my style.
- Find a container for the kitchen.
- Throw your food scraps–excluding meat–into said container.
- Find, build, or buy a container for outside.
- Put this one in a sunny spot.
- Whenever the kitchen container is full, empty it into the outdoor container.
- Every now and then, turn the pile.
- Let nature handle the rest.
Why EVERYONE should be composting
There are a plethora of reasons everyone should be composting at home. But here are my top reasons:
- It doesn’t take up much space. Look at that photo. That’s 18 months of food scraps! I thought it would be so much more but it has broken down and condensed into nutrient-rich mush that can be used for the garden.
- You’ll save money (x3). First, on your waste disposal. Depending on how you pay for waste removal, this can significantly cut down how much you’re having removed. Second, you won’t need to buy things like compost (duh), pesticides, or fertilizer for your garden. Third, your plants will be healthier, therefore producing a higher yield–so if it’s crops, you’ll have more and need to buy less.
- Rich compost enhances gene expression in plants. Yeah, that sounds really science-y, but it’s not that complicated. Just like us, plants have genes that are turned on or off by environmental factors. Plants weren’t meant to be grown in sterile soil… so this compost that is teaming with microbial life, will “challenge” your plant forcing it to use its genetic abilities to survive. This might sound like a bad thing… but think of it from a ‘use it or lose it’ mentality. Nature gave plants the ability to survive and we’d like future generations to have that genetic code too.
- Nutrient rich-er plants/crops. With all the minerals your compost has to offer, your plants will be able to produce extremely rich crops. Just like us, they can still ‘reproduce’ when deficient in certain nutrients. For example, I can still have a baby if I’m anemic. But how healthy with my baby be? The same goes for plants and their fruits, flowers, seeds, nuts, etc.
- You know what you’re getting when you start making compost at home. Did you know that even commercial compost labeled as “organic” can contain sewage sludge? With all the chemicals that go down our drains (prescription meds, harsh cleaners, drugs, pesticides, etc.) we certainly do not want that going into our garden. Sadly, it might already be there…
- Which brings me to my last (top) reason. For the planet. We need to fight for this big ol’ rock we call home. We’ve damaged it possibly beyond repair with all our careless ways. Thankfully, nature is a beast and can fight the good fight–but we need to help it along. So just throw your natural waste in a pile and let nature do her thing. Then spread it into your dirt. If everyone just did this in their yard, slowly the soil everywhere would start to improve. Think of it like a facial for the planet and each yard is an acne patch. Do your part to unclog your pore!
What’s Darwin got to do with it?
Without his discovery of natural selection as the mechanism for evolution, we wouldn’t have any of the medicines we have today (most of which are found in our soil–hence my passion for composting) or many of the scientific practices we use every day. He gave us a better understanding of how we fit into this vast universe. It’s up to us to make the most of this place.
READ NEXT ==> How to make biochar for your garden.