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Composting an effort for all seasons

Keep a compost bucket in kitchen with a sturdy lid.

Home gardeners have been encouraged for many years to make their own compost. At this time of year when we are encouraged to stay off our lawns and out of our garden beds, composting gets us outside and gives us a connection to our environment.

The raw materials for our compost are food waste and yard trimmings. Instead of sending these compostable materials to the landfill, we have the ability to turn these raw materials into healthy compost that will enrich the soil of our home gardens. Compost delivers nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium and other nutrients to our garden soil as well as helping our soil retain moisture.

Give the Warren County Conservation District a call. (814 726-1441.) They have, at times, had free composters just right for the home gardener. They also are a fount of knowledge on home composting and will be a source of information as the gardener gets their composting project started. Composters can also be purchased at Lowes along with instructions that will get you started.

I keep a compost bucket, with a sturdy lid on my kitchen counter. Kitchen waste includes coffee grounds, tea, eggshells, fruit and vegetable scraps and old flowers.

You can also use leaves, straw and paper. Do not use meat scraps, grease, whole eggs or dairy products.

At the end of the day, we take this bucket to the composter. Then, back in the kitchen, wash and rinse the container well and I am ready for the next day.

You can buy a bag of compost at the garden center, and I buy a few every spring. Our family footprint has become too small to make enough compost for our gardening needs. If we compost then we reduce landfill waste, and we do our part to keep our soil and our planet healthy.

Rebecca Norton Ryan is a member of Warren Garden Club and Penn State Master Gardener.

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