I admit the contents of the plastic box (above) – with its stalks, stale bread, peelings, torn-up cardboard (more later) and discarded tea bag – is not a pretty sight.
But don’t be deceived by its appearance. The present detritus of our kitchens is the future fertiliser of our food.
Sensitive souls often feel guilty about wasting food. Guys, your instinct is correct – those scraps are meant to be put to good use.
When my eco-friend Chris showed me how to compost, my life changed. Instead of throwing old food in the landfill, I became a guilt-free fertiliser queen.
Compost is a basic principle of organic farming, and hence a friend of real food. It replenishes the soil with an amazing array of nutrients – for free.
(Chemical fertiliser is not a patch on the real thing. Plus its production is oil-guzzling, polluting and greenhouse-gas causing).
You start the composting process by collecting kitchen scraps (including cooked food). Then you need to find a covered bin (preferably outdoors) where the waste can compost down in peace.
Anything which lived can be composted. The smaller it is, the quicker it breaks down so it can go from waste to ‘black-gold’ in nine months.
I added cardboard (which used to be a tree) for dryness, and tore it up, making it easier for the worms and bugs to munch it down in the garden compost bin.
What if you have no garden? Check out the Bokashi system for indoor or balcony composting (see mine below). Brave people keep wormeries in their kitchen. The waste-turned-to-crumbly-soil or fertiliser juice (yum) can be added to plant pots or a friend’s garden.
If indoor composting does not appeal, scour your vicinity – any outdoor space to be pressed into service?
What stands in your way to happy composting? Let’s break it down…