A Brief History of Composting

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Composting has been around since ancient times. The Roman naturalist, philosopher, author, and warrior Pliny the elder, who lived from 23-70 CE referred to composting in his writings. The idea in early times was to pile up organic materials until the next year. By that time the materials would have decomposed and be ready to mix in with the soil to be planted. This was and remains a low-maintenance version of composting.

However, in modern times, this method of composting isn't as practical, since it required a large amount of space, and didn't do a very good job of getting rid of disease-producing micro-organisms or seeds from weeds and invasive plants. Composting started taking on its modern form in the 1920s in Europe, when it started to be developed and studied in conjunction with organic farming practices.

Today, composting is practical for the urban apartment dweller, the suburban housewife with backyard tomatoes, and the rural dweller who gardens extensively. Modern composting is made much easier by the use of composting bins of many different types and sizes. We also now know that shredding plant waste, ensuring proper moisture levels and proper aeration by turning the mixture can greatly improve the process.

Some composters use special fungi as well as worms to further break up material and improve organic content, though these aids are not required. Aerobic bacteria in the mix help convert the waste matter into carbon dioxide, ammonium, and heat, and the ammonium is further processed naturally into nitrates and nitrites that nourish plants. The final product is a nutrient rich, organic substance that can be used in the smallest garden to the largest agricultural operation.

One of the most convenient types of modern composting machines is the compost tumbler, which are basically rotating compost bins. Many of these come with a simple crank handle that you turn every once in awhile to break up compacted layers and distribute air and moisture optimally. Plastic compost bins (many made from recycled plastic) are popular, though metal models are available as well.

The range of compost bins for sale can accommodate the kitchen waste from the smallest household to the largest. Even apartment dwellers can buy tiny composters for their kitchen waste and create nice compost to nourish their house plants. The compost, which ends up deep brown in color and similar to potting soil in texture, conditions soil, fertilizes, and even works as a natural pesticide.

Though you should never put meat, bones, or fatty food wastes (or human or animal waste) in your compost, you can use those peelings, leftovers, banana peels, and other kitchen waste products to directly benefit your local environment. Whether you go "old school" with a compost pile in the backyard, or use a simple composter for creating compost, you're keeping kitchen waste out of the waste stream, creating your own, free organic soil additive, and putting nutrients back into the earth, providing vital nutrients to plant life without chemical fertilizers.

Gardening Articles: http://organicgardenarticles.com/

Author: Jason Bacot
Jason Bacot - Are you looking to save some money when it comes to your home gardening? Then I suggest you check out our Rotating Compost Bins and Compost Bins for a natural fertilizer at "Compostbins.Nixtie.com" as soon as possible.

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