So a little bit of backstory, I have built a large compost bin from pallets. I work as a chef cooking breakfast at a country home, but I also prep salads and lunches for hundreds of people each day.
I ride a motorbike, and I've found a reusable waterproof sack that fits nicely in my rucksack.
As I'm working I save up my veg scraps and I take a rucksack full home every day and Chuck it in my compost bin. The scraps are balanced with dead leaves and cardboard.
For my question:
Do some fruit/vegetable skins/peelings have more benefit to the finished product of the compost? Do different things pass on nutritional content and microvitamins/minerals in any way? Or are all scraps created equal and break down into basically the same sort of soil?
Why this question has come to mind:
I read an article years ago about regeneration of logged bourneo forest by dumping tons and tons of citrus peels and letting them decay. In the article the guy wrote that citrus peel is fantastic at composting down and bringing soil back to life. This is why I'm wondering....
I get a lot of carrot peel, squash and pumpkin skin, pineapple tops, lemon and orange peel, bell pepper cores and stems etc etc.... I have a wide range to choose from so to speak.
Because space is limited for me each day, if someone was to identify some types of scraps that make better compost than others then I can prioritise taking these types home. So far I have just been trying to create as diverse a mix as possible (courgette ends one day, onion peel the next day, sometimes eggshells, sometimes fruit skin etc...)
Any information vaguely on topic is greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance and happy composting, all.
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Very interesting question. I bet it has a complex answer with lots of "it depends".
I'm using all sorts of veggie waste in my compost making. Since I'll use everything and anything, I haven't been able to determine if one thing is better than another for my soil type. I do notice that coffee grounds helps my soil quite a bit.
It's never too late to start! I retired to homestead on the slopes of Mauna Loa, an active volcano. I relate snippets of my endeavor on my blog : www.kaufarmer.blogspot.com
Good question, and I'd like to know what others who're more familiar with the process have to say.
I'd assume it depends on what the scraps are, how they're broken down in the process, and what is being grown with the compost. It seems like whatever nutrients/vitamins/minerals/etc are in the scraps would be found in the compost since they can't simply disappear. Then it seems like the crops which are able to use/mine those things would uptake them while growing.
The part I'm unsure of is how the microbial (or bacterial/fungal) process affects them. I suppose things like the sugars would be consumed and further broken down to a lower level. Then things like oil in citrus peels would probably not be useful to a plant like kale... But I truly don't know how it works on a molecular level.
My instinct is that you want as much diversity in inputs as reasonable with a compost pile. Each of the particular items will offer a slightly different compliment of minerals, cellulose, moisture, etc.. so to get to a balanced finished product you would want a balance of inputs. Beyond just switching it up what you set aside to bring home every day the other major consideration seasonally might be moisture content, you may want to bring home more of the wet stuff during your dry times of year and more of the drier stuff during the wet times of year, although I'm not certain how much of a difference that will really make. In general though, it seems that having a diversity of inputs is the best approach.