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Black Gold

Whether you have a large vegetable garden, one little flower pot, or just want to cut down on the amount of trash you throw out every week, composting is an easy and inexpensive way to turn your kitchen scraps and paper trash into a precious resource! There are so many good reasons to compost; here are just a few:

  • Compost is a superior alternative to chemical fertilizers because it adds nutrients to soil without polluting groundwater.
  • Composting keeps organic material out of landfills, which results in rotting food that emits methane, a major source of greenhouse gases.
  • Compost promotes healthy microbial activity in soil, making valuable nutrients available to plant roots and combating plant disease.
  • Soils fed with compost retain more rainwater, reducing the need for more irrigation.
  • Compost nourishes plants that sustain good human health.
  • Composting avoids wasting organic material by turning old coffee grounds, cantaloupe skins and paper trash into sweet carrots, juicy tomatoes and crisp lettuce. 🙂

My husband and I just started our own compost bin, and I am amazed at the things we can throw in there. Our weekly trash is a fraction of what it used to be, and in less than two months we’ll have a rich, fertile compost to add to our garden. No more hauling expensive bags of the stuff back from the garden center!

The vegetables we grown are only as nutrient-rich as the soil we grow them in, plus healthy soil leads to strong plants and attracts less invasive insects, so adding compost to your soil is a win win! You can also add it to potted plants, your lawn, flowerbeds, whatever you have. Or make your neighbor VERY happy by sharing with them. 🙂

Plus, you can compost MUCH more than just leaves and kitchen scraps! Check out a full list here:
http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/home/surprising-compost-items.htm

If you live in Long Beach, CA, the city offers free composting classes and subsidized bins: http://www.longbeach-recycles.org/recycling/composting.htm

And if you have kids, what better way to teach them about nature? They can see how their trash becomes compost, which feeds their seedlings, which turns into lunch. Gotta love science!