Composting 101: Why It’s Called ‘Black Gold’ and Worth the Effort

If you’ve ever thought about composting, now’s a great time to start. Composting is a big trend in gardening, backyard farming and sustainability circles now, and it couldn’t be easier. Any way you slice it, composting is good for the environment. It’s an ideal way to make your own natural, rich bed of nutrients for your yard or garden, but you don’t even need to have either of those to do it. Many people living in apartments or other urban environments compost along with recycling, with the goal of creating a zero-waste lifestyle. It’s a way to help and preserve the planet, one compost pail at a time.

It might sound complicated, but at Behrens, we’re here to help make it easier. Here are some basic composting FAQs to get you started.

What is composting?

Think of basic composting as the saving and recycling of natural materials. Indoor composting begins in your kitchen, then take that to begin outdoor composting in your yard. 

In the kitchen, it’s about saving everything you’d put down your garbage disposal. Egg shells, potato peels, what you’d scrape from your plate after last night’s dinner, the leftovers in the back of your fridge that may or may not have been sitting there since you went on that work trip 3 weeks ago. It’s what some people refer to as “food waste” or “green” compost material.

In your yard, composting involves grass clippings, dead leaves and tree and scrub branches, or what some people refer to as “yard waste” or “brown” material.

To make an ideal compost, you want both green and brown material, generally a 1:4 ratio, along with water, to begin the composting process.

A woman adding compost to her garden

Why should you compost?

The answer to that question lies in another question. Do we really need anything more in a landfill? No, especially not when it’s a natural substance that can easily break down to benefit the environment as a whole. You know the old saying: One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. It applies to composting, with a twist. Your trash turns into your garden’s treasure. When you save that yard and food waste, it all breaks down over time and turns into nutrient-rich compost that will benefit your yard and garden. It’s been called black gold.

Taking it a bit closer to home, composting is free, and it’s a perfect source of nutrient-rich soil for your yard or garden. Compost will improve the quality of your soil without you having to buy expensive bags of enriched soil from your lawn and garden store.

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