History of Composting
The early 20th century saw the development of a new “scientific” method of farming. Work done in 1840 by a well-known German scientist, Justus von Liebig, proved that plants obtained nourishment from certain chemicals in solution. Liebig dismissed the significance of humus, because it was insoluble in water. After that discovery, agricultural practices became increasingly chemical in nature. Combinations of manure and dead fish did not look very effective beside a bag of fertilizer. For farmers in many areas of the world, chemical fertilizers replaced compost.
Sir Albert Howard, a British agronomist, went to India in 1905 and spent almost 30 years experimenting with organic gardening and farming. He found that the best compost consisted of three times as much plant matter as manure, with materials initially layered in sandwich fashion, and then turned during decomposition (known as the Indore method). In 1943, Sir Howard published a book, An Agriculture Testament, based on his work. The book renewed interest in organic methods of agriculture and earned him recognition as the modern day father of organic farming and gardening.
J.I. Rodale carried Sir Howard’s work further and introduced American gardeners to the value of composting for improving soil quality. He established a farming research center in Pennsylvania and the monthly Organic Gardening magazine. Now, organic methods in gardening and farming are becoming increasingly popular. A growing number of farmers and gardeners who rely on chemical fertilizers are realizing the value of compost for plant growth and restoring depleted soil.
- 1. Carbon-rich “brown” materials, such as fall leaves, straw, peanut shells, used coffee grounds, and shredded tissue paper.
- 2. Nitrogen-rich “green” materials, such as grass clippings, fruit and veggie scraps, tea bags, egg shells, and non meat plate scraps.
- 3. A cup of garden soil.
- 4. A bucket and lid
- 5. Red wigglers ( special type of worm used for composting )
- 6. A drill
- 7. Water to moisten
- 8. Small pre used container
- 9. Key ring
- 10. Small carabiner clip
- 11. Hot glue and hot glue gun
1.Drill several holes all around the container close to the top, then drill several holes all over the lid of your container.
2. On a side of your compost container drill a hole that is big enough for the carabiner clip to fit in, then put the clip in the hole and secure it with hot glue.
3. Now on a side of your pre used container drill a hole big enough so that half of the key ring can fit in, then put the ring in the hole and secure with hot glue.
4. Inside your compost container spread a layer that is several inches thick of dry "brown stuff," such as fall leaves, straw, peanut shells, and shredded tissue paper.
5. Top that with several inches of "green stuff" such as grass clippings, fruit and veggie scraps, tea bags, egg shells, and non meat plate scraps.
6. Add a thin layer of soil.
7. Add in a cup of worms ( red wigglers )
8. Add a layer of green stuff.
9. Moisten the layers with water.
Continue layering green stuff and brown stuff with a little soil mixed in until the compost container is full. Try to add stuff in a ratio of two parts green to one part brown, but when the container is full add on the lid.
Every couple of weeks, use a shovel to mix everything in the container, moving the stuff at the center of the container to the outside and working the stuff on the outside to the center of the container. Keep the materials in the container moist, but not soggy. When you have enough finished compost in the container to use in your garden, shovel out the finished compost and start your next group with any material that hadn’t fully decomposed in the previous.
My invention is a compost bin that you can use inside, and by using two pre-used containers and other household items I was able to create my invention. My data showed that waste was slowly breaking up and decomposing in the container. I learned about how composting works but most importantly I learned about how my invention can help the environment. It helps the environment by decreasing the amount of waste that can be composted in homes, schools or anywhere else. What I would do differently next time is try to create a bigger bin that it can store more materials so that it will be more useful for schools in the winter when it's hard can't make compost outside.