By Carrie Haycraft

There are easy ways to get started with composting.

Composting is breaking down waste,by worms or cultures, into a fertilizer-type substance to use in your yard or garden, providing a substainable cycle of growth. Compost waste is made up of two parts, commonly called green and brown. Green has more nitrogen and is made of wet materials. Brown has more carbon and is made of dry materials. The proper mix,roughly half green and half brown by weight, is essential to get compost to break down quickly,without odors, and yield a correctly balance mix of fertilizer for the garden when the compost process is complete.

Making Your Own

The first step is to identify an outside area, ensuring that it is a spot with good drainage and without direct sunlight. You can use chicken wire, scrap wood, wooden pallets, brick or concrete blocks to construct your bin. The bottom layer should include heavier brown materials like leaves or hay.The next layer is a green and brown mix, followed by a the last layer of soil and water (about one inch thick, with enough water to make it moist) It will need to be turned one or two times per week and should be kept moist. While making your own compost bin or pile is the most cost-efficient, it can be the most labor intensive of the options and needs to be maintained to unwanted critters out.

Green Items include, fruit and peels, vegetables, egg shells, manure, frsh plant clippings, coffee  grounds.

Brown Items include, newspaper and cardboard, paper towels and napkins, hay or straw, tea bags, dried plant clippings,corn cobs.

Items to EXCLUDE, pet waste, meat and bone scraps,mayonnaise,salad dressing, colored or glossy paper,dairy products.