Myths and Truths of Composting

Shedding light on common misconceptions of composting and how you can easily grow organic fruits, vegetables, plants, and flowers.

1. Too Challenging
The number one reason people avoid composting is that they believe it’s just too hard. And that couldn’t be further from the truth. Fact is, there isn’t much to it at all. It’s a completely natural process. Breaking down organic matter to form fertilizer is practically self-sustaining. No complex layering involved. No expensive accessories. Simply the right mix of materials on hand, and biological decomposition takes care of the rest. On a scale of simple to difficult, this couldn’t be an easier process.

2. Too Messy
On the surface you would think that the decomposing (nay rotting) of foods and plant life would be a dirty job. While it’s by no means spotless, it’s not nearly as grotesque an indoor (and even outdoor) activity as people would have you believe. With some simple organizational tools, such as sealable, reusable bins, you can collect and store the compostable scraps that will be form basis of your fertilizer. Specialized composting crocks and containers, some with disposable liners, make the transfer of materials systematic during the process, and requires only minimal effort for clean-up.

3. Too Cumbersome
Myth – composting piles turn your backyard into mountains of trash heaps. Fact – no giant anything needed for this process. Organic composting can take place in the smallest of urban spaces to the largest of agricultural plots (and everything in between). It can be as big, or as small a project as you want it to be. No mounds of rubbish wasting away on your property. Let small, stackable, space-saving bins be your savior when collecting scraps to compost. Modify a standard sized, nondescript trash can to consolidate the material on your property. They’ll never know you’re cultivating your own natural fertilizer from everyday refuse.

4. Too Stinky
What really reeks of foulness is the stigma that composting is one stench-infused activity. When in fact, the aroma should mimic that of a walk in the woods. Sure, you’re leaving trash to decompose right before your eyes. But, this completely organic process happens regularly in nature and without so much as a twitch of a nose. If you’re composting correctly you shouldn’t smell anything more than dirt that would detract from the process. If you do, check the balance of your materials. A strong odor typically indicates something isn’t right.

5. Too Time Consuming
Not really. The scraps do need time to simmer and “cook,” and yes you may need to allocate a few minutes a week to help the process along, but other than that you’ll find yourself with plenty of free time. You can add special ingredients to hasten the pace, and you can even use a tumbling composter to minimize the already little effort involved. With or without these resources though, your involvement level shouldn’t be too taxing, and in a few short weeks your compost should be ready.

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