Recently there have been articles in the Post & Courier about what restaurants in the Charleston area are doing to reduce their food waste. Several prominent downtown restaurants take their food waste to the Bees Ferry Composting Center. On the Upper Pennisula they received a grant to begin an experiment to compost their food waste as well. Perhaps it is a sign of things to come for the rest of us, but we don’t have to wait to join in.
The compost, which is the natural product of the process of organic matter decomposing, is the very best fertilizer you could possibly use on your garden. It adds organic matter to your soil which in turn increases necessary microbial activity, helps balance the pH of your soil and helps your soil retain the proper amount of moisture. Best of all it is free!
Backyard composters are generally available at big box hardware stores and there are a wide variety of them available on-line. Most are quite simple and easy to use. They can be filled with your fruit and vegetable scraps from the kitchen and yard debris like grass clippings and leaves. Very reliable sources report that our abundant live oak leaves take way too long to break down to be useful. In order to avoid attracting animals to your composter you should keep all meat and oil out of your composter.
Composting is a win-win situation. It reduces the waste going into the landfill and it provides “black gold” for your plants. It is certainly worth giving it a try.
Submitted by Richard Seigel, SIPOA Environmental Committee