Aerobic composting in 5 easy steps
My advice to those new to composting is to compost small, so it’s easy, convenient, and quick. Compost just one days waste each month if that’s what works for you. Because every little bit counts.
Step 1 Order matka biryani home delivered for dinner.
Wash and rinse the container well . The dough stuck to the matka gets mould if it’s not taken off completely. Your matka and waste should be soap free, as soap stops the composting process. I like these matkas as they don’t have a hole at the base, so there’s no drainage and no mess.
Step 2 Put some damp mud at the base of the matka, and add your kitchen waste to it.
The image below has some eggshell powder, garlic peel and egg yolk. My compost takes about 2 weeks to be ready. Here’s what I put in my composting pot :
- Vegetable waste – in small pieces.
- Cooked leftovers.
- Boiled egg yolk, broken up. Raw egg yolk is smelly and I recommend pouring this down the drain.
- Egg shells take longer to compost, so I powder them. Method below.
- All raw waste should be free of soap, vinegar or salt as this slows composting.
- I usually don’t compost non-veg these days, as it needs a deeper pot with more mud covering it. Takes longer, and there’s more risk of attracting insects and pests. Plus, we have very little non-veg waste as we eat non-veg just once a week – mostly boneless kebabs if we eat home.
Step 3 Layer about an inch of compost and cover with 2 inches of mud.
The mud in the image below is dry as I haven’t watered it for 2 days. I wait for it to get dry, before adding more water.
Flies are a problem only if there’s too much water. So I recommend that covering the pot with a metal sieve (jaali) so air needed for composting comes through, and flies, if any stay in, if you’re trying this for the first time.
Watering less slows the composting, however, it will ensure there are no flies.
Step 4 Water when the mud dries and wait.
No mixing required as the matkas are small enough to compost without that.
This process takes anything between one to three weeks. Mine usually take one week, but I give it another week to be safe and then use the mud.
The ready compost is mud, except it will be a little darker than what you started out with.
Making Powdered eggshells
- Collect egg shells in an open container in the fridge.
- Raw egg shells need to be washed, so there’s no egg smell, while boiled can be added directly.
- When you have enough (I do this once a week), microwave them for a minute to get rid of any moisture. Then powder them in your mixie, using the dry grinder.
- Add them to a flower pot or a composting pot, and cover them with mud.