Before you chuck your kitchen scraps away, consider using them to make your own compost and save some moola.
Babalwa Mpayipheli, a field worker at Abalimi bezekhaya, from Khayelitsha in Cape Town, believes that compost made from kitchen scraps is liquid gold for your garden.
She uses a technique known as “bokashi” composting which is a traditional composting practice that uses bacteria to break down food scraps and garden waste. She suggests you use your kitchen waste as compost in your garden. “We use compost piles of one metre in length and width for bi-gardens and community gardens.”
Here is what you need to make your own compost heap
Mpayipheli offers a bokashi composting guide for home gardening. She also notes that it may be used in confined spaces and prevents insects and odours.
How to do make it:
- A bucket with a cover.
- To start, sprinkle bokashi bran at the bottom of your bucket.
- Like with a cake with layers, you begin with the bran, then add your kitchen waste, then the bran, and so on.
Start with all of your solid food waste, such as cabbage stems, eggshells, mushroom remnants, fruit and vegetable peels, and loose tea bags.
The bed of the compost pile may be composed of grass, wood ash, tree leaves, sawdust, cardboard, brown paper bags, toothpicks, old matchsticks, and ground bones.
Mpayipheli says that you may water it as much as possible so that it rots.
Keeping it natural
Meanwhile, Gengezi Buba-Yuze from Mandalay in Cape Town, says that the bokashi method does not work for her because of its unpleasant odour. In place of this, she decided to dig a hole in her garden.
“What I do is carry all of our kitchen scraps to the garden and cover it with topsoil.”
This has made her sandy garden more like the rich soil she is used to in the Eastern Cape. She adds that the presence of earthworms in her garden has made the soil fertile, which is beneficial for her garden.
“Earthworms are essential to the health of the soil because they bring nutrients and minerals from below to the surface through decomposed organic matter.”
Buba-Yuze says that her produce taste better since she began preparing her own compost. She says that even neighbours who purchase tomatoes, spinach, and spring onions from her, relish the organic nature of the produce.
“To create a nutrient-rich fertiliser, I advise home food growers to use natural waste in their compost, such as grass clippings and leaves from their yard. They are very good for the soil.”
Other waste compost techniques
Barnard explains how you can prepare your kitchen for waste compost in eight steps:
- Collect and sort your edible kitchen trash in a container, including vegetable peels, fruit peels, and tiny bits of discarded cooked food.
- Now gather some dry organic materials, such as dried leaves, sawdust, and wood ash, in a small container.
- Take a large container, clay pot, or bucket, then drill four to five holes at varying heights around the container to let air within.
- Now, add a layer of dirt to the bottom of the container.
- Add food waste in layers, alternating moist and dry waste (food scraps, vegetable, and fruit peels) (straw, sawdust, dried leaves).
- Cover this container with a plastic sheet or a wooden board to help preserve heat and moisture.
- Check the container every few days, and if you believe the heap is too dry, moisten it with water.
- Wood ash and sawdust may also be added to the compost to speed up the decomposition process.