How To Turn Your Household Rubbish Into Food
GUEST POST BY NICOLA CHATHAM.
So here we go… Household Rubbish You Can Put in Your Garden
I love recycling. I’ve been doing it for years. But when I found out much of the stuff we put in the recycle bin can be recycled ‘on site’ in our own back-yard, thereby saving fuel and resources by not manufacturing yet another product, and instead letting nature have her way with my waste, I fell in love with recycling at it’s best.
Not only does putting your waste in your garden save the planet from rubbish trucks transporting it, and factory fumes manufacturing it into to something else – which then has to be packaged and shipped to a store near you – it also saves you money by making the most important resource we have.
A resource I didn’t pay much attention to until I did my Permaculture Design course. It’s a resource we can’t live without, and is diminishing at a terrifying rate around the world due to de-forestation, urban sprawl and broad-scale farming. And surprisingly, according to my teacher Geoff Lawton, it’s a resource that has the potential to save our desperate planet. Which is a pretty big call.
What am I talking about?
You can transform your household waste into one of the best carbon sequestering materials on earth, grow your own organic food in it, and help save the environment all with two simple organic gardening processes that will save you money and enable you to grow your own abundant organic food as a result.
Are you salivating at the thought yet??? I am!
Now, you may have preconceived ideas about what I’m about to share. But don’t skip off to the next window in your browser just yet.
Compost doesn’t have to smell, doesn’t have to be hard work, and can be rodent free. It’s just a matter of finding the right process for your location, fitness level and needs. I’ll have to write about those options in the next post! For now, let’s take a look at all the awesome household rubbish you can put in your garden (and end the suspense for Jess!).
Household rubbish you can put into your compost or use in a no-dig garden:
Essentially, anything that once lived (ie, came from a plant or even an animal) can live again. Which includes paper (since it comes from trees), hair and nail clippings, pet fur, all your kitchen scraps (but avoid meat and dairy; I’ll explain why in a moment), toilet rolls, cardboard, coffee grounds, feathers, flowers, grass clippings, leaves, weeds (it’s best if they don’t have any seeds), nut shells, juice pulp (as a Wellness Warrior, you can compost tons of juice pulp!!!), tea leaves, newspapers, cotton sheets and even cotton underwear!
Right now, in my compost bin I’ve got three pairs of worn out cotton undies, a cotton t-shirt, the hair from my hairbrush, all my veggie and fruit scraps, crushed egg shells, and a cardboard toilet roll.
Pretty inviting stuff!
There are a few things to avoid adding to your compost for health and safety reasons. But they’re not complicated or scary. Here they are:
+ Dog and cat droppings as these may contain disease organisms and should always be avoided for composting.
+ Glossy coloured paper since the inks can be toxic.
+ Meat, fat, grease, oils, dairy and bones because they sometimes don’t break down fast enough and can attract rodents.
+ And lastly, non-biodegradable or toxic materials. So don’t be putting your paint in there, any chemicals or plastics.
That said, compost and no-dig gardening are two of my FAVOURITE organic gardening processes, because they help set your garden on ‘auto-pilot’ by bringing in and feeding loads of beneficial micro-organisms who provide the nutrients your veggies need to flourish and taste delicious. Organically.
So, next time you’re about to toss out your old cotton undies or kitchen scraps, think twice and try an experiment. Pop them in the compost instead! It’s what I do. And my veggies are as happy as a pig in… ahem… mud.
Got some composting tips or questions? Share them below!
Author bio: Nicola Chatham is a certified Permaculture Designer, organic gardening teacher, contemporary artist, and creator of the acclaimed online organic gardening course, The Abundant Veggie Patch System.
Plant yourself in her organic world at www.nicolachatham.com where you can grab your free “Quick & Easy Organic Veggie Patch Kit” and her fun weekly newsletter ‘Sprout!’.
Positive affirmation for the day: I let go and relax in the process of life.
join the tribe
Join the green mo revolution! Subscribe to get Jess's updates & Green Mo Revolution e-book FREE with over 80 green smoothie recipes!