What’s Going On Here?

It’s International Compost Awareness Week, and with so much time on our hands, we’re taking a good old look at the joys of composting and why it’s so important for our planet’s soils!

What Does This Mean?

Who woulda known that there’s a whole week dedicated to – yep – compost?! International Compost Awareness Week (ICAW) is an annual celebration increasing public awareness of the benefits of compost. From vermicompost (compost produced by worms) to aerobic and anaerobic compost – the process of organic matter decomposing into a nutrient-rich soil conditioner – is a simple but important one.

With WRAP revealing this week that UK citizens are managing their food better in lockdown, many of us have also taken to composting – with news outlets reporting a 250% surge in seed and compost sales over recent weeks!

This year’s ICAW theme is ‘soil loves compost’ – so why does soil love compost and what has it got to do with sustainability?

Why Should We Care?

When we chuck our food scraps into our general waste bins – it often ends up in landfill. Buried under layers of waste and without enough light or oxygen to breakdown properly – it hangs around for yearssss and produces huge amounts of methane ( a harmful greenhouse gas 25 times more potent than CO₂ ). Composting therefore helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, offering a significant tool in mitigating climate change. Plus, composting recycles organic materials that would otherwise be wasted!

Let’s not forget our precious soils – the foundation of our wonderful planet’s ecosystems. Soil filters our water, nourishes forests and crops around the world and helps regulate our climate as well as greenhouse gas concentrations. Compost adds nutrients to our soils, reduces soil-borne and other plant diseases and the need to use pesticides and chemicals.

Our soils are so important, but they are often forgotten within modern agriculture. But there’s one agricultural technique called ‘no-tilling farming’ ➡️ where soils aren’t disturbed through ploughing, helping to keep important nutrients within the ground, and preventing excess emissions being released. With fears that productive, nutrient-dense soil could run out within 60 years, there’s never been a better time to get composting!

Be Curious!

Check out the guys behind ICAW The Compost Foundation.

  • Got a garden? Go full circle and nourish it with your home-made compost! ????????????????????
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Lets talk composting! ????????????????????⁣ ⁣ Our first garden priority has been sorting the composting situ out. We got a Green Johanna compost bin for food waste, and then Dan whipped up an open compost bin for garden trimmings using the old decking that he pulled up.⁣ ⁣ So what’s so wrong with just throwing food in the bin, will it not just biodegrade?⁣ ⁣ The problem is food in landfill will NOT degrade as the conditions there are anaerobic. Not only does it just sit there festering for years but it will also release s**t loads of methane in the process- a much more potent greenhouse than CO2.⁣ ⁣ If you have a food waste collection from your house (which we don’t) then that’s great! But you would still get the benefits of using the compost in your garden (if you have one) if you compost at home and reducing the need for chemical fertilisers. ⁣ ⁣ A few tips for you, mostly from my compost loving Dad ????: ⁣ ???? Remember to add some garden materials such as grass trimming and leaves (which are apparently a great ‘soil conditioner’) to your food waste.⁣ ???? Try to use a good mix of material and not too much or thick layers of just one thing.⁣ ???? Consider adding some tiger worms to your closed compost bin to munch through things quicker!⁣ ???? Be careful with adding cooked food waste or animal waste- this can be unhygienic and attract vermin. ⁣ ???? Mix you compost regularly to make sure the rotting is aerobic- every time you put something in is a good rule. ⁣ ???? Indoor composting is a thing! So it’s not impossible if you don’t have a garden (I’d be interested to know if anyone does this?)⁣ ???? Composting at home can take quite a while so be patient and let nature do it’s thing ☺️.

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