Posted by admin on September 30, 2010
Composting has been practiced by gardeners for centuries as a great way to not only get rid of garden and yard waste, but it’s a very cost effective way to improve and enrich the soil in a garden or even an indoor container. Almost all gardeners value the “black gold” of compost as one of the best additives to the garden soil.
But many gardeners, especially “indoor” gardeners, don’t have a place to build and maintain a compost pile of any sort. And the idea of building a traditional compost pile indoors is not really feasible. But it turns out there are some options for making compost indoors. Let’s take a look at a couple.
Vermiculture (or How About Them Worms?)
At first blush, the idea of a worm bin or worm farm sounds like the last thing that you would want to have in your home, especially your kitchen. But it turns out that worm composting (the technical term is vermiculture) is one of the cleaner ways to make compost. The worms are contained in a plastic bind, and you can successfully make the compost without ever even seeing or touching the worms.
The bin is built with multiple layers, and you add the worms, and then add the kitchen waste to be composted. One of the advantages of worm composting is that you can add materials that would never do well in a traditional compost bin, like citrus peelings and the like. You let the worms do their magic, and add another layer or bin and the worms move on to the fresh kitchen waste.
Worm castings are among the best forms of compost, and do wonders for the composition of the soil. Take a look a the pictures of a worm bin and you may find that it’s better than you think.
One example of a bokashi composter is the Happy Farmer composter. This is an indoor composting technique that has been used for years by the Japanese and Koreans.
Bokashi is a mixture of bran and sawdust which is mixed with microorganisms. The kitchen wastes are put in the composter, and a mixed with the bokashi. After a couple of weeks the mixture can be buried outside, where it will finish off into compost in just a few more weeks. The process is more similar to fermentation than it is a traditional composter, in that it’s an anaerobic process (not requiring oxygen) and the finished product has more liquid. In fact many bokashi composters have a spigot that allows you to drain the liquid off separately, and you can use it to fertilize your plants.
Advantages of indoor composters
Both of these approaches have some common advantages:
1) You don’t need a lot of waste to start the bin. With a traditional compost pile, you need enough mass to get the pile to heat up. With these indoor composters, the active agents can get to work right away, you don’t need to wait for a big pile of waste to get going.
2) You can compost many things that won’t work in a traditional compost pile. Don’t think of meat or dairy products in a compost pile, but small amounts of these in these kitchen composters can do OK.
3) Compost in a hurry – These active composters can give you compost in four to eight weeks, much faster than a traditional compost pile.
So, if you want to adopt more of a green lifestyle by composting your wastes, but thought that living in an apartment or condo without a yard kept you from doing so, there are options.
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