OUR first introduction to composting usually happens during our childhood – most probably in our science and vocational classes; that is, gardening.
From there, we’ve kept a vague notion that we can use food waste to compost. We also remember that compost is nutritious and good for the soil.
But how come we never practice it when and where we should?
The benefits of composting
If you’re having a tough time remembering the benefits of composting, here’s a refresher:
- It provides a steady source of moisture. Composting not only enriches the soil with nutrients but also absorbs water. By putting a solid layer of compost in your garden, you’re reducing the need to water it. And just like mulching, it helps prevent weeds from growing.
- It ensures you have a chemical-free garden. Compost is a lot like fertilizer, but also so much more. Aside from enriching the soil naturally, it contains the right amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. It also contains beneficial microorganisms that keep the soil and your plants healthy.
- It helps reduce methane emissions in landfills. When you use certain food scraps, like vegetable and fruit waste, coffee grounds, grains, old spice, egg shells, etc., for composting, you’re also reducing your carbon footprint. How? By using food waste that would otherwise end up in methane-producing landfills, you’re minimizing your contribution to the toxic waste pile.
- It can save you money. Aside from helping you reduce your water bills (composting means less watering, remember?), you also won’t need to spend extra on chemical fertilizers.
Composting at home
Last year, as we were forced to stay at home for the greater part of the year because of COVID-19 restrictions, a lot of us turned into ‘plantitos’ and ‘plantitas’ overnight.
People not only found solace in cultivating their own plants, but also appreciated the value of tending to their own vegetable garden. The plantito and plantita wave showed us the importance of self-reliance, especially during a crisis like COVID.
Some gardeners, like my father, began composting and appreciating the benefits it offers. And mind you, we don’t have a garden per se – much less a lawn. We do, however, have a container garden.
Even if you live in an apartment, it’s still possible to compost. And if you’re time-challenged and desire convenience, the Bokashi composting kit might be a good way to start. You can purchase one online or check with your local gardening supply store. (And no, this post is not sponsored by Bokashi J)
To start composting indoors the Bokashi way, you will need a Bokashi composting kit which includes a composting bucket or container. Below are the basic steps to get you started:
- Place some food scraps into your Bokashi indoor composter. Sprinkle a handful of Bokashi powder grains on the food scraps. Repeat this process every time you add more food scraps until the composter is full.
- Ensure the lid is tightly shut. Oxygen is not needed in an anaerobic composting system.
- Drain excess liquid by using the tap at the base of the composter. Do this as often as you can. Set this ‘juice’ aside and keep it in an airtight container. You can dilute 2 to 3 ounces of the juice per gallon of water and mix it into the soil. Use it on houseplants (or your lawn if you have one).
- When the container is full (or after 14 days), it’s time to bury the accumulated, partially broken down waste. To enable the complete breakdown of the waste it needs to be buried in soil. But since you don’t have a backyard, talk to the person in charge of your community garden or a neighbour who has extra space and is willing to allow you to compost in their backyard. Make sure to cover it completely with soil to enable total breakdown in a couple of weeks.
Always clean the Bokashi container after every use to avoid contaminating the next batch.
Start composting today!
After last week’s storm, it’s time to get up and start your week right.
And if you’re already a bona fide plantito or plantita; hopefully, today’s post will leave you inspired enough to start composting ASAP. Enjoy!