Making compost isn’t really so complicated. If you collect some green stuff and brown stuff and put in a pile it will eventually metamorphose into humus (finished compost). It’s magical.
Take your vegetable kitchen scraps, coffee grounds and fireplace ash and combine them in a pile with leaves, grass and other plant material and eventually, even if you do nothing, the detrius of your life will turn into a substance that is the holy grail of gardening. We don’t want to get technical here. We want to be lazy. You can make composting complicated if you want. If you do, you might get your compost faster.
Non-gardeners should also consider composting. Since all islanders are on septic systems it’s really not such a good idea to use your garbage disposal. Flushing all those veggie trimmings down the sink is adding an unnecessary load to your system. That garbage can be recycled. If you don’t have a vegetable garden you probably have a flower bed or a flower pot. At the very least you’ll have a friend who will come get your finished compost. It’s best to put kitchen scraps in a closed container for a period of time until they begin to break down unless you enjoy visits from rats and raccoons. When you can’t tell what it was anymore you can dump this gunk on your pile. Rats and raccoons will not bother the compost heap.
Leave the pile for a year. Let the rain, worms and bacteria get to work on transforming it from waste to richness. The elements and the critters do all the work. All you have to do is collect the material and pile it up. It is the ultimate act of recycling with a result that can provide a material benefit to you. It’s an easy way to practice conservation and sustainability.
(Printed in The Tome for the Lummi Island Conservancy).