Composting
Composting is easy, great for the enviornment, and reduces waste. By placing organic, biodegradable items in one location, these items such as food remains break down over time, creating fertilized soil. Living in the air, water, and soil are microbes, or bacteria, which work to decompose the oraganic material in the compost area.
You can set up a place to compost in your back yard. Stores sell compost bins, or you can make your own.
What to Compost
Any organic or biodegradable items
Things like food remains, grass clippings, leaves, and weeds- be careful with composting weeds, sometimes they resprout in the compost pile, it is best to let weeds dry out before composting.
What Not to Compost
Things that are not biodegradable
Treated/finished wood
Meat can be composted but attracts animals and the more fatty meats take much longer to compost.
Why Compost?
As the items in compost break down, they begin to look like soil
You can use your new soil to plant or mulch with!
How Long Will it Take?
There is no exact time period for composting. Larger compost piles (1 cubic meter or more in size) require more work, but give quicker results. With a large compost pile, the pile needs to be turned or mixed more often than a small pile. To mix any compost, a pitch fork or shovel works best to turn the material. Large composting areas also require more material to be composted. With more material in the pile, the temperature in the pile will rise. Once the material has heated up- this will happen in a few days- then it is time to mix. It typically takes between one and two months before a soil-like substance is acheived.

Small Compost Piles (smaller than one cubic meter) take longer but are easier to manage and don't take up as much room. Small piles do not need as many materials to get started, when you have materials available layer them on top of the pile. The smaller piles do not need to be mixed as often, try to mix it when a lot of material is added, otherwise mix when the pile gets bigger or you notice the materials are begining to break down. In the small piles the temperature does not rise nearly as much, but this will allow more worms to inhabit the pile. Worms will speed up the process too. With small piles it may take anywhere from six months to one year. In the winter the process slows down because the microbes slow down due to the dropping temperature. Your compost area will still work, however it is best to keep it covered in the late fall and winter.