Compost is organic matter that has been decomposed and recycled as fertilizer for soil amendment.
While it may not fit with your lifestyle or mine, compost is a key ingredient in organic farming. I will explain more about the composting methodology in a moment, but did not want to scare you with the scientific aspect all at once.
When you live in a house and you may miss the reason why composting is useful. How do you compost without a garden?
There are several alternatives available to you to compost in your home (depending on the size it might be a bucket in the kitchen or a larger area in your garage or basement), use:
- A small garbage can with a lid to reduce odors and bring the scraps together in one composting center
- A small bucket in the kitchen, near the sink or worktop. We can add a lid.
- In some stores, you can find a small built-in with built-in filter: very convenient
What can we compost? This is the short answer, if you are interested I go into more detail at the end.
Various kitchen wastes: peels of fruit, vegetables and greens, coffee grounds, tea bags, egg shells, leftover bread, … as well as waste from your garden (if you have a garden). 🙂
You may have a composting or recycling center near where you live. These are beginning to appear in different neighborhoods throughout the US. Depending on how convenient they are for you, depending on, proximity and management, they can help you reduce your household waste. If you keep your compost for your indoor plants, and only produce what you need this is great, if you have a surplus they can help you make use of it.
Now on to the technical side of things.
The composting process simply requires sorting out its household waste into a pile of wet organic matter (leaves, the other "green" kitchen waste I have already mentioned) and waiting for the materials to break down into humus after a more or less long period of weeks to months.
Simple. But modern and methodical composting must be closely monitored with measurement of water, air and nitrogen-rich carbon materials.
The process of decomposition is helped by grinding plant matter, with the addition of water and good aeration by turning the mixture regularly. Earthworms, insects, larvae and fungi actively and naturally participate in the decomposition of composted materials. Aerobic bacteria manage the chemical process by converting inputs into heat, carbon dioxide and ammonium.
Ammonium is then converted by bacteria into nitrites and nitrates from nourishing plants through the nitrification process. This will enrich the soil with nutrients. Of course compost is used in gardens, landscaping, horticulture and agriculture endeavors. But compost itself is beneficial to the country in many ways, including as a soil conditioner, fertilizer, more vital humus or humic acids.
Humic acids are one of the most important aspects of humus.
They are not very mobile which is why compost distrabution is important. The humic substance are able to bind more or less strongly depending on their type with other bodies present in the soil and especially with clay. In this case, we are talking about gray humic acids; the complex bond formed with clay or argilo-humic complex is very stable. Thanks to their hydrophilic hydrophilic groups of carboxylic acid type, they can retain about fifteen times their weight of water and thus play a fundamental role in the water retention and useful water supply of a soil.
It is also a natural pesticide for soil. In ecosystems, compost is useful for controlling land erosion and rehabilitating streams, building wetlands, and as landfill cover. Organic composting ingredients can also be used to produce biogas through anaerobic digestion.
And it all has the chance to start in your home, even if you don't own a house or have a garden.