Green food generally composts much more quickly than brown food. Don’t ever use bones or meat in your compost, but DO use all fruits, vegetables, crushed egg shells, breads and other grains, coffee grounds and even coffee filters. Of these composting suggestions, the fruits and vegetables will break down the fastest – usually in about three months, depending on several factors such as size of your compost pile, how often you turn it, etc.
One tip to make your food scraps break down more quickly is to place fruit peels or rinds with the skin side down. This tactic enables faster drying which is the beginning of the composting process.
I have sort of a two-step process that seems to work well in terms of breaking food down fast. Initially, I put all food scraps into a small pail and there they sit for a week–it is nice if you can keep the container outdoors near to the kitchen. By the time I put them into the compost pile, most of what went in is quite near to soup (gross, I know, but it’s what you want!)
Coffee grounds break down really fast. They may also be applied directly to the soil because they blend in quite well. Coffee grounds are a spectacular source of nitrogen. Plus, when it rains it smells like coffee everywhere! Asking a coffee shop about ground recycling pick-ups is a great way to get large quantities of them. Starbucks has a program for this during the spring and summer months.
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