Compost Happens!

"One man's trash is another man's treasure." Especially if that other man (or woman) is a gardener. Growing things, especially food, takes nutrients--you get out what you put in. Industrial agriculture relies on bad-for-the-earth and bad-for-us chemical fertilizers, but one of the great joys of growing food at home is knowing exactly what has (or has not) been dumped on the plants we eat. Using rich, organic compost to add nutrients to the soil for hungry plants is as old a technique as agriculture itself. Made from food scraps and other organic matter, compost adds nitrogen to garden soil, diverts waste from the landfill, and is easy to make at home with just a little bit of knowledge. Visit our Compost Happens!Pinterest Board for DIY composter ideas for the backyard--and for those of you who have no garden (yet!), you can still compost and enrich the gardens in our community here in Austin by signing up withEast Side Compost Pedallers--they'll come by and pick up your scraps! Read on for composting tips and the know-how you need to start turning your trash into treasure today!

  • Composting microorganisms require a finely-tuned carbon-nitrogen ratio (C:N)--roughly 30:1. If the C:N ratio is too high (excess carbon), decomposition slows down. If the C:N ration is too low (excess nitrogen) you'll end up with a stinky, rotting pile.
  • Compost should be turned frequently and kept slightly damp--about as moist as a squeezed-out sponge.
  • Compost tea is a powerful liquid fertilizer and disease suppressor--click here for a recipe for brewing your own.
  • Composting conundrums? Click here for troubleshooting tips.
  • You'd be surprised at what can be composted! Click here for a great list of what is and isn't compostable.