Yeah, You Can Compost

Think composting is just for hippies? Not true! Composting is not only popular, but dare we say, chic?

Living Green
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Want to make the most of your trash and your garden? Here's how to compost and become a greater part of the circle of life.

What is compost?

OK, Compost 101: It's simply a mix of decaying veggies, grass clippings, leaves and other organic matter. Instead of throwing this waste away and adding more to the local landfill, you can use this natural fertilizer in your garden beds. Your soil will love the billions of bacteria, yeast and fungi in your compost. Plus, composting gives you the opportunity to become a greater part of the earth.

Ryan Homes in Bucks County

New Homes in Bucks County

If you're into organic farming, you'll love the community vibe at our new homes in Bucks County. There are tons of eco-minded farmers and restaurants in the area. In fact, the Bucks County Foodshed Alliance, offers classes on composting, and even might give you a free composting bin.

How do you make this brew?

If you think making compost is hard, think again. Compost is essentially a mixture of brown and green organic material. Mix the brown matter (shredded dead leaves, straw, twigs) with the green matter (grass clippings, vegetable waste, fruit scraps and coffee grounds), add water and a little soil and you're good to go.

Here's how to make a compost pile:

Brown stuff first

Top with green stuff

Add some soil

Add more brown stuff

Moisten the layers with a bit of water

Every week or two, you need to rotate the pile. Keep adding to it so it reaches three to five feet, and you'll have usable compost in around six months.

What do you put this mess in?

Because compost can get stinky sometimes, we recommend containers. You can create a DIY compost bin, or you can go to Lowe's or Home Depot to buy one. There are sealed containers with a little door for adding your organic matter, and then there are tumblers that make mixing your compost easy. Closed containers will also protect your compost from the rain.

What doesn't go into compost?

Basically, everything has to be organic. No herbicide-treated grass clippings, for example. You can add manure from grass-grazing animals—but no manure from animals that eat meat (and no meat scraps from your table). Here's a full list of what you can and cannot compost.

That's it! Fall is a great time to start, especially if you have a lot of leaves to sweep up. Get started this weekend—and go Mother Earth!

Ryan Homes Question: Have you ever made your own compost? Do you have any tips to share?