Gardeners in Timmins help demystify the practice of composting

According to some gardeners in Timmins, any time is a good time to consider taking up the practice of composting.  

They say it is not as mysterious of an endeavour as one might think and it's a natural way to fertilize your vegetable and flower beds. 

Mark Joron said the first step is to consider in what type of an indoor compost container you want to collect your organic food waste. He uses a stainless steel garbage can with a removable plastic bin and collects food scraps all year long. 

"Anything organic that is in the kitchen or on a plate goes into the composter.  Egg shells of course are one of the best things.  We crunch them up," he said. 

Once it's full, it gets emptied into an outdoor compost bin. Reasonably priced compost bins may be purchased from the city Timmins.

"I think the city of Timmins is doing us a huge service and most of us don't even know it's there," said Louise Gaudette, head of the C.M. Shields Centennial Library.

Gaudette considers herself still new to gardening and suggested people use their local library as a resource.

"We have some new books on gardening but some of the oldies too.  Just because it's older doesn't make it no longer feasible, it just makes it a little older and sometimes the old ways are the best ways," she said.

Something new Joron asked people to consider is not to turn the soil in their gardens in the spring, so as not to disturb the biodiversity that's below the surface level, and instead of tucking a compost bin in a back corner of the yard, put it right in the garden.

"You want all the nutrients in your garden, so the garden is where you want your composter to be.  

"It gets a lot of heat there and of course all the worms and all of the bugs and biome that's in the soil has access to that," he said. 

And, if you're ready to take your composting skills to another level, add some red worms to the mix.  He said they can be found in farmers' manure piles and will be much happier in your composter than dew worms would be.

"The dew worm needs more oxygen and he travels though the holes in the ground and the red worm, it will live right in that poop." 

Joron and Gaudette recently hosted a virtual session on demystifying composting where Gaudette also encouraged gardeners to join the Seed Library at the South Porcupine branch, which encourages the harvesting, sharing and exchange of seeds.