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Garden Composting

Updated for the 2024 gardening season

The Capitolo Community Garden has three garden composting bins available for gardeners to add to and harvest compost from. Below are brief instructions for using the compost bins and where to turn for instructions! Questions should be directed to the garden group email or brought to garden meetings for discussion. 

Adding to the Compost Bins

Anything added to the compost bins needs to be cut up into small pieces. For example we would LOVE your carved halloween pumpkin, however please cut it into smaller pieces before adding it into the compost bins. This also goes for any of the below listed items. 

From the garden

  • SOFT green matter from the garden (spoiled produce, green leaves, flowers, etc.) 

  • Dried leaves which are collected and bagged to be added to the bins in proportion to the green matter

From your home

The below list can be brought to the garden. Make sure any store bought produce has the stickers removed and are cut into pieces that are easy to break-down. 

  • Bread

  • Brown paper (grocery bags or other)

  • Coffee grounds

  • Eggshells

  • Fireplace ashes (wood only, no charcoal grill ashes) 

  • Flowers & houseplants 

  • Fruit, fungi and vegetable scraps (trimmings, scraps, pits, rotten) 

  • Newspaper cut small (no glossy inserts) 

  • Pasta

  • Paper towels (not solid in cleaning products or chemicals) 

  • Pencil shavings

  • Rice

  • Sawdust

  • Tofu 

What NOT to add

  • Sticks, roots, vines, weeds(we don’t want to replant them in someone else's plot) 

  • Pet organic matter (please put dog poo bags in the trash cans) 

  • Cardboard that has mailing labels, tape or glossy print 

  • Meat scraps (while contamination on other compostable items is fine, do not compost bones, fat or other meat products, raw or cooked) 

  • Compostable utensils or takeaway cartons (while these are likely degradable overtime, they take too long in our small bins) 

Maintaining the Compost Bins

After adding anything to the bins take the time to turn them. Without doing this the freshly added material will sit on top of the bin and mold. If you have questions on how to do this ask for instructions at the next meeting or work day! 

Ideally each time you add to a bin it’s equal parts soft/wet matter(fruit, veggie) with dry matter(paper, leaves etc). This will keep the bins from getting too wet or too dry over time. If you bring wet matter from home add some of the bagged leaves stored near the shed. If you have dry matter to add you can add it to the leave bags for addition to the bins at a later time. 

Learning more about the compost and bin status

The garden newsletter will be distributed on the 15th of each month during the gardening season. Each month, instructions will be included for which bins have compost ready to be added to plots or is in need of more organic material added. We are looking forward to a robust composting season with everyone’s help! 

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Photo credit: Rkillcrazy, CC BY-SA 4.0

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