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It is that time of year when the leaves will soon begin to fall. If you prefer to not allow the leaves to naturally decompose on the earth then what can you do with them? Instead of filling bag after bag and setting them on the curb to head out to the landfill is there an alternative? Living in rural areas most my life there was never any question as to what to do with leaves, yard waste or kitchen scraps. It was just part of the natural process to allow the leaves and yard waste to go back into the earth. Kitchen scraps were often taken out to the wildlife or composted. It never really occurred to me how important this was until a couple years ago when I found myself in an urban living situation. It seemed that I could no longer give back to Mother Earth in the same way. People raked their yards and bagged up the leaves to send to the dump. There is an alternative you know, even for the urbanites. Of course there are many rural folks who may not being taking advantage of the benefits either. These are the benefits of composting. Composting is the natural process of decaying organic matter and using the changed material for fertilizing. Composting is natural. Mother Nature has her own system of composting that we can learn from. By not living in harmony with nature we upset natures balance. By beginning to compost our kitchen scraps and yard waste we can help enrich the soil, help keep nature in balance and have an amazing free organic fertilizer for gardens, flower beds, trees and lawns. When the natural balance of your soil is healthy this helps pests to stay away from the plants and they become healthier too. You can garden organically without using chemical fertilizers, growth enhancers and "stay away bug" dusts. You will also be saving space in the landfill because the organic waste will be transformed into something so useful. Even people in apartments or various urban living situations can compost. The benefits are huge. The kitchen scraps that you will add are raw fruit and veggies, egg shells, coffee grinds and tea bags. You want to keep meats, fats, pastas and cooked food out of your compost making to keep it in balance. You can also add outdoor leaves, lawn clippings and plant cuttings that haven't went to seed. You can learn more about composting at your local library or the internet. There are a variety of different styles of composting crocks or compost buckets that can be used in your kitchen to contain the scraps until you are ready to add them to your outdoor compost pile. Some are stylish and others are simple buckets with a lid and carbon filters to contain the smell. You can add the scraps every few days or so to the outdoor pile. For the outdoors you will need a compost bin or spinning composter . You can build your own bin which is pretty simple or purchase a tumbler which is very convenient. The tumblers are especially good for urban areas because they are nice and neat for you as well as the neighbours. They are


pest resistant and are easy to turn to keep the compost aerated for quicker compost making. Anytime is a great time to begin composting. But maybe this fall you will think twice about those leaves and the alternatives. Be green and eco conscious and lets live in harmony with nature. Happy composting!

Lisa R. Marshall is the facilitator of Nature Centered . Nature Centered is a space to share information and resources for living in harmony with Nature and one another. Honoring life through whole health, herbal healing, simplified living & compassionate communication. For more information or to contact the author you may visit http://www.naturecentered.com/

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Composting is Living in Harmony with Nature