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  Top Three Elite Ingredients?

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renone blog
Joined: 8/28/2009
Location: Charleston
Posts: 1
Posted: Oct/17/2009 11:55 AM PST

So let's talk ingredients. What do you consider the best ingredients for a compost pile, food wise? If you could make a concentrated "super compost" out of three of four things what would you use?

The reason I ask is because I'm considering making a super concentrated compost based around the richest ingredients. This all spurred one day while working at my bakery and tossing pounds of banana peels into the trash. I realized I have unlimited access to many restaurants and their bi-products.

So what do you think? If I try to use mostly banana peels, like 1/2 total... What else should I add? Coffee grinds, eggshells, grass...

I'd be very grateful to discuss more ideas and suggestions. Thanks!

SarahJane blog photos
Joined: 3/15/2009
Location: Albany NY
Posts: 1550
Posted: Oct/17/2009 9:57 PM PST

You've already named 3 of the best in my opinion. Banana, coffee grinds, and eggshells.

I think other veggies are excellent, too. I use all my salad scraps. Even paper is good as long as it isn't greasy. Like used paper towels, napkins.
Joined: 3/18/2010
Location: Eastern PA
Posts: 1
Posted: Mar/18/2010 6:35 AM PST

Well, it's all about balance. You simply must have some "brown" material for effective composting. A mix of mostly "green" ingredients will just be a mixture of garbage ... not compost. For a great and simple list, see the ingredients suggested by the Compost-twin folks at There are some other good articles on composting on the site, as well.
bussete1 blog photos
Joined: 8/18/2007
Location: Omaha
Posts: 330
Posted: Mar/27/2010 3:18 PM PST

I know that the eggshells help the worms make babies, and worms are the ones that make the compost into dirt. I was also under the impression that you need a combination of food and yard waste because of the nutrients in both.
TnTom blog photos
Joined: 4/06/2010
Location: Woodbury Tn
Posts: 719
Posted: Apr/08/2010 7:39 AM PST

Composting without knowing! I have been piling my lawn clippings and fall leaves for about 10 years. I retired last April and we (wife and I) have just started our first garden with the hopes of growing some vegies.

Our soil is mostly clay and sand and the famous Tn rocks which grow with great vigor. I have heard of composting without much knowledge of the subject so began doing some research. I took a pitch fork to the piles I have accumulated and see that they have mostly turned to what looks like dark rich soil something you don't see much of around this neck of the woods.

Our plot is tilled and cultivated and not yet planted but I think we will begin in the next few days.

My question is should I add the compost and till it in or allow it to lay on top or both or does it matter?

What is the down side of using this composition? It sure looks nice.

Joined: 4/13/2011
Location: Stevensville, MT
Posts: 7
Posted: Apr/16/2011 2:45 PM PST

I actually heard that banana peels have a natural defense against being broken down by bugs--anyone else hear that?

Also, I just listened to a podcast newly put out by Paul Wheaton and Helen Atthowe on composting, (as well as veganic farming and native plants), and they agreed that alfalfa grass was really awesome for compost because it was a perfect ratio of what a balanced compost needs. ( 015-compost-vegan-permaculture-native-plants/)
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