Composting is taking organic material and allowing it to decompose. Once this occurs, the compost can be added to soil as a fertilizer or mulch. The benefits to composting are many and include reducing the amount of waste in a landfill, less work for your sewage system, and all natural nutrients that increase plant growth. Composting can easily be done at home with little to no previous experience.
Place a layer of brown (high-carbon) ingredients in the bottom of your compost bin. Brown ingredients include straw, wood chips, shredded paper products, twigs and pine needles. The layer should be 2 to 3 inches high.
Put a layer of green (high-nitrogen) ingredients on top of the brown ingredients. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection suggests alternating these layers until your compost bin is full. Green ingredients include kitchen scraps, blood meal, cow manure, horse manure, grass clippings, and seaweed.
Water the ingredients in your compost bin until they are completely moist. Do not overwater the barrel. You don't want the compost to be soaking wet, just moist.
Turn the ingredients in the compost bin once a week with a shovel. This keeps the flow of oxygen going throughout the pile, which will help it decompose faster. Repeat until your compost looks like brown soil that has an earthy scent. Then, it is ready to use.