Make compost to recycle your kitchen scraps. It's easier than you think! (www.africanepicure.com)

Compost containers come in all shapes and sizes. Be creative with what you have! (Flickr: Joi)

Permaculture has become increasingly important to us, and we like it’s ethics:

1. Care for people.

2. Care for the Earth.

3. Redistribute the surplus.

This, to us, makes good sense, and we like to run our households and our kitchens by this ethos.

Although we try to make the fullest use of every ingredient in our African kitchens, there is always some waste, or surplus left over. We like to redistribute this organic matter back into the soil.

In addition to trees, soil is the biggest carbon sink we have on this planet. Living, healthy soil is capable of helping us absorb the excess carbon dioxide that is playing such havoc with our environment. Do your part and recycle your kitchen scraps back into the soil, where they will nurture healthy microorganisms who will in turn nuture the plants who feed us.

It’s easier than you think to make compost at home. We use a covered plastic garbage bin with small holes for drainage we drilled on the side. The lid closes and secures so it’s safe from rats or mice. Every three months or so, we have enough compost to fill it and we empty out the decomposing soil, taking what’s on the bottom for our vegetables and potted plants. We shovel the rest back inside and keep adding to it.

Compost should smell delicious. If it doesn’t smell like a damp forest, and if it has any hint of putridity, it’s because the mixture has become too wet. Make sure your rubbish bin has enough holes so it can drain, and start adding lots more dry matter to the mix. Within a week or so, the smell will have gone away.

It’s wonderful to reuse vegetable and plant matter from your kitchen, returning nutrients back to the soil.

Here’s how to make compost in your own garden:

How to Make Compost

For more about African home economics, permaculture and how-to recipes, check out:

About African Permaculture
Household Recipes