What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think of composting? For some a huge smile may cross their face, for others a much less appealing thought may pop in their heads. Composting can be the easiest and cheapest way to help your flowers and veggies "be the best they can be." A friend in my playgroup brought up this topic last week and of course I had to chime in. If you are new to composting there are lots of sites that can explain all the How-to's to get started and why.
It is simply the breaking down of organic matter. There is a local facility in my area that I was able to tour when I was in college (for Horticulture). The tour was very informative. I didn't realize at the time how delicate the process was with such a huge amount of compost. The temperatures and carbon to nitrogen balances were fascinating. The facility gives all the compost away free of charge. Just show up with an empty truck bed or a few burlap sacks and off you go. There is always a small amount of trash in the load, like pieces of trash bags, tinsel from Holiday trees, straws, and bottle tops. This is a very minor problem with the amount that you are able to receive. If you aren't in the Acadiana area, look in the phone book. There should be a site in your parish or county that offers compost free or for a very small charge.
If you'd like to start your own composting adventure there are lots of options.
The Compost Guide has some great tips on starting your own compost. You can find bins, pails, and activators at Clean Air Gardening. Here is a great book on how to start your own compost.
Do you already have a compost at home? Tell us about it. We'd love to hear how you got started.