I think all our readers know gardening is an important task for all who want to be as self-sufficient as they can possibly be. To achieve that goal, serious gardeners create and maintain compost piles or bins.
Composting turns unusable materials into a most refined and useful organic material perfect to build humus into the soil structure of your garden. It so improves soil that if you compost faithfully you can turn very poor soil into soil that rich and fertile all from composted grass clippings, kitchen vegetable scraps, plant stems, livestock manure, and the like. Composting gives you control over much of the gardening process by helping you build the most basic part of the process, the structure and quality of the soil.
Outdoor Compost Bin
Composting in a pile is the oldest known way man has had to create soil. A simple demonstration is one I remember from my childhood and it was a neighbor’s leaf pile. The couple had a fence line that was on a slope and it turned ninety degrees so the leaves they raked in the fall built up and decomposed. I loved to jump in the pile and play, little did I realize just how cool that pile really was because when I went on the other side of the fence I could see the layers of decomposition with the rich dirt all along the bottom. It was a good lesson to a future farmer when I saw that and I never forgot it. Years later, I began keeping my own composting pile of leaves.
There are some things that don’t belong in the compost pile like pet manure, plant material with any kind of chemical herbicides or pesticides on it, any kind of meat, dairy products, oils or oily foods and bones from meats. You also don’t want to include any weed materials that have seeds.
For your compost bin, you’ll want a place that is not in full sun but has partial to total shade and the soil should be well drained. Too much sun will dry out the materials and sitting on a soggy patch of ground will keep too much moisture around to allow proper composting to occur. This material needs to heat up to compost properly and too much or too little water slows or stops the process.