Why in the world would you ever buy dirt?
Why would you ever buy bottled water?
The answer to the first question can be found below but the answer to the bottled water question is interesting. Bottled water became popular with consumers looking for alternatives to carbonated soft drinks. Big soda was able to convince consumers to pay a dollar or more for something they could get for free. The result has been our planet being taken over by single use plastic bottles.
Why buy something that you can get for free?
You don't need to buy water and you don't need to buy dirt. If you will make your own dirt by composting, not only will you save money but you will also help save the earth. Composting reduces methane gas emissions. Healthy soil brings healthy plants. Returning nutrients back into the soil continues the circle of life. Healthy soil is the foundation of our food system.
How can you turn you backyard into a black gold composting machine? There are many options for building a compost. We have been composting at our house for many years using our large three sectioned composting bin which is divided into three sections. We have named our compost Big Bin (see photo). You don't have to go big with your bin. You can start with piles of leaves, grass and food scraps or you can use small containers or you can invest in a tumbler bin container.
How ever you choose to begin your big bin adventure, here is a list of "to do's" composting:
- Choose a corner of the yard that gets a little shade.
- Alternate between carbon-rich brown matter (dried leaves, paper, cardboard and wood pieces) and nitrogen-rich green matter (uncooked fruits and vegetables, green leaves, grass clippings, tea bags, coffee grounds.
- Keep the pile moist, water weekly if needed.
- Include in your compost: uncooked fruits and vegetables, coffee grounds, egg shells, newspapers, paper egg cartons, other non-recycled paper like paper towels, tissues and paper plates that is free of grease and cleaners
- Avoid: meat, bones, fish, dairy, fats, leftovers and animal feces
How long will it take? If you turn it regularly, you can have black gold compost as soon as three months.
Why is the dirt you create better than that the dirt you purchase? Your created dirt does not put controversial fertilizers in your yard.
Good luck with your big bin adventure!