Compost is organic matter that has decomposed and been recycled into a beneficial soil amendment that is a key ingredient in organic growing. The ideal compost recipe combines 1 part “greens” (kitchen scraps and garden trimmings) with 3 parts “browns” (shredded paper, chipped or ground wood material, or straw). Greens are wet, have a high nitrogen content, break down quickly, and are full of the compounds required for promoting fast microbial growth. Browns, on the other hand, are dry, bulky, have a high carbon content, and serve to create the air pockets required for the process of breaking down organic material. To this basic mixture are added air (by turning the pile) and water. When these components are in proper balance, microbes get busy breaking down the material, which will be evident through an increase in temperature at the center of the pile. (Temperatures can reach upwards of 150oF when piles are turned often enough, like every 3 days).

« Back to Glossary Index