ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — You don’t need much space to start your own home garden.
A few pots will get you started. The best way to keep that garden growing is with some rich, dark soil made from your own scraps.
Ashley Rhodes-Courter with the Foundation for Sustainable Families encourages everyone to try it.
“Over 30 percent of what goes into landfills currently, be it yard waste or scraps from your kitchen, this is all stuff that can be composted,” Rhodes-Courter said.
Composting is the process of using organic or biodegradable material like yard and food waste, then mixing it together.
“Eventually that will break down and become the most nutrient-rich, amazing soil and then you can use that soil to plant in your garden,” Rhodes-Courter said. “So you create this kind of full circle opportunity to utilize all your food scraps.”
Rhodes-Courter does several types of composting at her home, but she says all you really need to get started is something about the size of a five-gallon bucket
Then start layering things like yard waste, food scraps and even coffee grounds. Keep it moist and mix it up a couple of days a week.
“As it starts to break down, it will look a little like something here. This is about halfway done. It needs a couple more months to compost, but you can already see how it’s changed from something that looks like this, something very dry, to this, which is much more nutrient dense.”
Then use that soil to fertilize your garden and watch it grow.
“Growing, composting and utilizing sustainable practices isn’t always easy, especially for someone who has no exposure to it whatsoever, but that’s why I say it’s great to start small,” Rhodes-Courter said.
As long as you start somewhere.
“It’s the ultimate circle of life in your kitchen,” Rhodes-Courter said.