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Takes Care of Two Things at Once: Composting Food Waste

Years ago my dad taught me the benefits of composting food waste. It had nothing to do with any type of “green” movement or being environmentally friendly, no, it had everything to do with reintroducing nutrients back into the soil.

Here is what he taught me then and it still holds true today. By burying your food waste and kitchen scraps (no steak bones though), you are providing a quality food source for the creatures that live in your soil. From micro organisms and those creatures that the human eye can not see, up to worms, which of course we do see.

See, what happens is these creatures eat the food (and of course each other) and then finally the worms eat basically everything and their castings (worm poop) create the best nutrients your soil could ever have. By continually supplying your garden soil with food waste you are feeding the earthly creatures and they reward you with healthy soil. Now where can you get a trade off like that!

Ok so here is how you do it. Get yourself a fairly large Tupperware bowl. One large enough to hold at least a week’s worth of food scraps. Then after each meal dump everything and anything into that bowl. Just do not put steak bones in there, they wont biodegrade or be eaten by the worms. Banana peels, apple peels, coffee grinds, fish, vegetable scraps, egg shells and basically anything you don’t eat, all qualifies.

When your Tupperware bowl gets full, take it out to your garden and dig a hole about a foot to two feet deep and then dump the food scraps into the hole. Fill in the hole with the dirt and mark the spot with a stick or something else so that you do not dig up that area again for another three months. You need to give those little rascals some time to eat it all.

Now you simply repeat this process as the Tupperware bowl gets full. If you find that you live in colder climates where the ground may freeze for lengthy periods of time, then consider starting a warm box to recycle your food scraps. That goes beyond the scope of this article but I am sure if you Googled the search term “vermicompost” you will get all the information you will ever need.

So what are the two things I was talking about earlier? Well obviously the first is you are adding nutrients to your soil through composting food waste. The second is by composting your food waste you are limiting the amount of garbage that ends up in a landfill. The average four person house hold creates about 8 pounds of food waste per week. If every family in America followed this process we would eliminate nearly one billion pounds of food waste garbage a year. Now that is a lot of trash!

Do your part and compost your food waste. The worms in your garden will love you for it and so will everyone else in the environment.

About the Author
Bruce Tucker is a contributing writer to Mike’s How-To Blog, a blog that covers a wide variety of topics and how to do them. You can also follow him on Twitter.

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