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Composting
Posted by: mindy66 ()
Date: February 16, 2013 01:56AM

Hi All,

Maybe this is a dumb question, but I am wondering if I should add only organic waste to my compost pile?

I am assuming, but don't know for sure, that I should not add any non organic veggie scraps, etc. Anyone know?

Thanks!

Mindy


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Re: Composting
Posted by: vermontnl ()
Date: February 20, 2013 05:13PM

You may want to study up on composting. Bottom line is compost works best with 20 parts dry/brown to 1 part wet/green by weight.

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Re: Composting
Posted by: mindy66 ()
Date: March 03, 2013 07:09AM

I am tryin to study up, but can't seem to find any info that answers that question in particular.

We have definitely done our composting totally wrong.

For a couple of months now we have been adding fresh produce scraps upon more scraps, etc.

No "brown". That's the part that is really stumping me though. Where in the world can I find safe brown stuff??

Other than unused printer paper, all scrap paper has ink on it. Ink is toxic. I need to call our local Newspaper and ask them what kind of ink they use. Have heard that some folks use soy ink. If they do it for "green" purposes, I highly doubt ours is using it. We are SO behind the times here.

Found that I can get bales of straw for $8.75 per bale, but they are NOT organic. Iyiyi. Striving for all organic is quite quite challenging. Am not giving up though!

Thanks for your input, Vermont!

Mindy


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Re: Composting
Posted by: vermontnl ()
Date: March 05, 2013 01:08PM

Hi Mindy,

Browns are anything that is dry. I have used leaves, the shells of dried beans and peas, brassica seed pods, straw, hay (if the compost is hot enough, it will kill weed seeds), hulls of sunflower seeds, sawdust (this is what I mostly use when in a pinch), kraft paper, shredded plain newprint paper, dried plant materials, etc....

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Re: Composting
Posted by: mindy66 ()
Date: March 07, 2013 11:03PM

Doesn't the Brown, dry stuff have to be organic if this is for a strictly organic garden?? That is where my hang up is, is finding organic brown.

Mindy


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Re: Composting
Posted by: vermontnl ()
Date: March 08, 2013 03:15PM

In my opinion, if it's not labeled organic, likely sawdust is the closest. Btw composting takes 'inorganic' and cleans it up, bioremediation...

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Re: Composting
Posted by: Living Food ()
Date: May 15, 2013 03:11PM

Mindy,

Using only organic substances is ideal, but far from necessary. Composting is one of the best ways known to man to detoxify harmful substances and bind heavy metals - even sewage sludge can be safely composted if done properly, although I don't recommend it.

Just avoid using sawdust and other products from treated wood, and other substances that may have been treated with toxic chemicals. If in doubt, ask.

Quote

I need to call our local Newspaper and ask them what kind of ink they use. Have heard that some folks use soy ink.

You should ask. As of 2010 though, over 90% of the newspapers in the country were produced using soy ink. I'd think that proportion should be even higher now.

Quote

For a couple of months now we have been adding fresh produce scraps upon more scraps, etc.

Vermicomposting is probably a better idea for you, then. Continually adding small amounts of new material to a compost pile can disrupt the process and insure that it is never actually finished. There are ways to make it work, but vermicomposting is easier.

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Re: Composting
Posted by: Living Food ()
Date: May 15, 2013 03:14PM

Making good compost: [journeytoforever.org]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/15/2013 03:16PM by Living Food.

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Re: Composting
Posted by: Anonymous User ()
Date: June 12, 2013 10:43PM

I'm so late to this thread but am going to add that we collected dry leaves in the fall and kept them in an empty garbage can with a tight fitting lid to be layered in with the kitchen scraps, one or 2 cans lasted us the whole year. If we ran out I'd pick up a bale of straw, that takes a bit longer to decompost but adds some "loft" to the mix, makes it a bit easier to turn if you're doing that bit (I didn't always turn it). Trees are organic, nobody is out there spraying wild trees with anything so far as I know winking smiley.

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