It has been my life long dream to turn kitchen waste into compost. I lived in a high-rised apartment for years before, so composting kitchen waste seemed impossible. As I understand there is a stage of decaying process where the smelly liquid is expelled. I couldn’t imagine those disgusting smelly things happen in my small apartment balcony. The only way to absorb the smell from emitting to the air is by covering the whole thing with soil
The reason why there is an urge to do composting because I feel guilty when I have to throw away food. I always try to finish the food, even the already takes few times trip in-and-out the fridge. But sometimes there is a point when finally it has to be disposed.
Even I also feel guilty when I have to discard some inedible parts of vegetable and fruits, like wilted leaves, hard steams or fruit peels. Those unwanted things don’t belong to dumpster land, they belong to the soil where they come from. Let them have a full circle of their life span, from soil to soil.
When I moved to a landed house, I know this is the right time to start my composting program. There are many options for composting method. However, from the beginning, I tend to like the composting hole method. Composting holes is a hole with 20 cm diameter and 1 m depth. I choose this type of composting model because it diminishes the bad odor as the decaying material is buried down in the soil. Also to prevent animals, like stray cats and mice, to dig the waste as it contains food scraps.
I consider the highlight of my property is those composting holes. when I have some friends coming, I will heartily show and explain to them those composting holes. I explain how I separate the kitchen waste from non-organic waste and put them into composting holes. But not sure if they are really impressed with that.
The composting process involves four main components: organic matter, moisture, oxygen, and bacteria. I only need to provide the organic matter such as kitchen waste, leaves and grass clipping from the garden. The rest three components are provided by the soil itself. You couldn’t imagine how much living organism actively breathing in the soil breaking down the organic material to makes the soil rich with nutrient which later will be absorbed by the plants.
The process begins from my kitchen where I separate the organic and non-organic waste. I place a container on my kitchen counter next to the kitchen sink so I can straight away put the waste in. I chose an unused enamel coated aluminum pot with a lid as the waste container. Simply because it is easy to clean, just a rinse with water. It’s presentable as well, nice to look at as it sits on my kitchen counter almost 24 hours. The last thing I want to see on my kitchen counter is a dirty ugly looking container.
You can’t leave the waste one whole day long on the kitchen counter, the decaying process is always ongoing and emitting some kind of rotten odor. Depends on the type of waste, sometimes the odor is quite mild, but still, I don’t want that smell in my kitchen. All I need just a few steps walking to my garden put the waste into composting holes and rinse the container with water.
Once composting hole almost full, cover the top part with some soil and let nature works its wonder. The whole composting process takes about 4 to 6 weeks. On dry season I need to water the holes to create a moist environment to speed up the process.
I was amazed when the first time I collected the final product. It doesn’t smell at all. It’s doesn’t look disgusting. It looks like healthy black soil. When I touch it with my bare hands, I can feel the moisture. Sometimes I find a healthy fat earthworms indicating good quality soil.
By doing the composting, I feel that this is my way to pay back all the good things nature has given me. I develop a kind of special bonding with the land where I live. And one important point that half of my household waste problem solved.
I find composting is very easy, it only takes myself to commit to this lifestyle. Now I don’t see any other better way to process my kitchen waste other than composting. I believe everyone should start composting. By doing composting we directly reduce the burden of landfill and at the same time make our soil sustain its health. So what does hold you to start composting?