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Make your own Compost
Approximately 40% of our household waste is compostable. Good compost is invaluable to plants as a free, natural and organic fertiliser. When sent to landfill sites this biodegradable gold becomes toxic, as it reacts with metals which are also of great recyclable value. Reducing this amount of waste is one of the biggest steps you can take in reducing your impact on the environment. In complete self sufficiency you should require little more than you can produce and use what you have to the point of producing no waste. Composting is usually thought of as using a large space far from the house to avoid the smell, but modern designs make it possible to produce compost within a very small space, with no unpleasant odours.
Wormeries can be both the smallest and most effective composting devices as the worms can transform waste half their body size every day. As well as a great compost they also produce a liquid which can be drained from the bottom and mixed with water as a high strength fertiliser. As the worms work their way up through the wormery, the remains in the lowest section is taken and the section is replaced on the top and filled with waste. You could acheive this effect for free with a stack of tyres but for smaller spaces a purpose built model is more effective. Speed and size are not the only advantages over the anearobic conversion of a traditional compost heap. Because the waste doesn't rot over months the smell is considerably less offensive, allowing it to be placed close to the home and therefore more likely to be used in every instance. Worms will eat almost any organic matter (paper, coffee etc) but dislike garlic, onions and citrus fruit.
Compost is essential in an Organic garden as it replaces chemical fertilisers and does a better job of feeding your plants than they ever could. Making it yourself is also essential as Compost bought from Garden Centres in large bags is not actually compost, it is more of a growing medium which contains some added nutrients, but nothing like as much as real compost. Traditional composting methods can take some getting used to, as a good mix of 1 part (N) Nitrogen rich "green matter" like grass clippings, should be added to 3 parts of (C) Carbon heavy "brown matter" like leaves and straw. If you are using mostly food waste a wormery is the best option as it will take (almost) all your food waste, with a few exeptions:
The quality of your compost can vary dramatically as a perfect mix and consistency can be difficult to acheive, but will improve the quality of your soil immensely. A good compost can enrich your soil with nutrients, and regulate the flow of water and oxygen to the plants roots, ensuring a healthy plant which is more resilient to pests, diseases and adverse weather conditions. The health of your crops depends on the health of the soil, and using compost of poor quality could be disastrous for your garden. World's Best Compost is an eBook guide to making an entirely different type of compost, without using conventional compost heaps or tumblers, which are innefective at regulating key factors such as moisture levels or structure. World's Best Compost shows you how instead of making fibrous mulch which is better, but still similar to bagged compost, or small amounts of liquid fertiliser from a wormery, you can create Humus Compost, which has the perfect structure to promote root growth, as well as the microbes which live in the soil, without which nothing would grow. Nothing is more important to the health of your crops than the quality of your soil, and the World's Best Compost can show you how to make as much of it as you need to produce healthy organic food with a minimum of effort.
Wormery-information-sheet.pdf - Information on composting with worms.