Composting can be as simple or complex as you want to make it. But there is a difference between composting and just throwing out food waste. If composting is not done properly it can attract rodents and put off a strong odor. Until there is "curbside composting", you may want to follow some pretty easy steps.

There are only three things a compost pile needs to "cook". These are a good balance of carbon and nitrogen, the right moisture and good air flow. With a little practice you can find the right blend of materials, usually available right in your own garden, to make a great compost pile and produce your own healthy mulch material.

Instead of spending money to have the Town take our leaves away and buying mulch to replace this resource, we can make our own! This will save energy by reducing the fuel spent by the trucks and our cars and save money for the Town and for our own pockets, all the while helping feed our great trees and gardens.

For good airflow, put your compost bin on top of a wooden pallete. You can find these for sale at Community Forklift or even for free at some places. Just have to look around. You may ben want to put some pipe under the pallet that has air holes incase the compost leaks through.

Here is a compost calculator to help you get the right "mix" for your garden.

Some advice is to visit a nice, well-planned edibles garden to get inspired and see how "the pros" do it -- the one at Green Spring Gardens in VA is well-done. The one at the USNA Youth Garden in DC is a good example too.

The City of Hyattsville also hand out FREE composting bins! Contact the City to get on as well as a book on how to compost at 301-985-5000.

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