You can compost in northern VA!

Date: 24 Oct 2016 Tags: , ,

It’s the renter’s life for you in northern Virginia; home is a small apartment or a townhouse with strict covenant guidelines. You don’t have the space, or the rules say, “No garden!” But that doesn’t mean you can’t do your part to reduce, reuse, and recycle.

You can compost!

But why? Compost augments the structure and texture of the soil — acting as a sort of soil conditioner — and is a better alternative to pollutant-laded chemical fertilizers. Composting reduces the amount of organic material in landfills; and soil treated with compost has been shown to produce plants with fewer pest problems. Less waste; healthy, happy soil; and fewer pests: That’s reason enough for us!

Tiny space dwellers and black thumb bearers unite here. With a few simple materials, and a little dedication, you, too, can cut down on food waste and give back to your community. Learn how.

What You’ll Need:

  • Some kind of container, as big or small as you would like
  • A tray to place under the container to catch spillage
  • Soil
  • Dry bedding
  • Tools for punching holes in your container

Instructions

  1. Decide where your indoor compost bin will live. In your home, this might be under the sink, in a pantry cabinet, or on a patio/balcony.
  2. Punch holes in the base and sides of your bin. Whether you’ll need to use a hammer and nails or a drill will be determined by the material make-up of the bin itself.
  3. Line your tray with newspaper or a tarp, and place the compost bin onto the tray.
  4. Add a three-inch layer of soil, and then a layer of dry bedding (newspaper, leaves, straw, or cardboard).
  5. Do your research, and determine what can be composted, and what cannot. Paper towels, potato peels, coffee grounds, eggshells, and cooked rice are all great for composting! Never put ashes, lime, or meat into your compost bin.
  6. Cut or shred your compostables to speed the process along.
  7. Add your compostables to the bin with an equal amount of dry bedding.
  8. Stir the heap, and add half a cup of fresh soil once a week.

Your compost will be ready to use when it is dark-colored, crumbles easily, and smells of Mother Earth. Your original, organic materials should no longer be recognizable.

Okay, Now What? 

Compost can be used as soil in your very own houseplants and container gardens, but maybe you don’t have those: It’s okay. Offer the compost to your neighbors, or donate it to a school or local farm garden; the potential uses are nearly endless.

Contact JK Enterprise with any questions as you get started, and happy composting!

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