aerobic composting

Composting: How It Works

The creation of compost has a long history dating back thousands of years, and the product itself is still highly popular as soil amendment for both large-scale farms and small home gardens. However, most people only have a vague idea of what compost is and definitions can vary. In simple terms, compost is made by blending together green waste (such as grass, leaves, and food waste) with brown waste (which includes woody materials like stalks, tree branches, and paper). Then, over a period of multiple months, these materials break down; the process of decomposition is promoted by grinding or shredding the materials, keeping the mixture wet, and providing necessary aeration by flipping the mixture or otherwise turning it. A well-cultivated compost pile results in a thriving environment that contains fungi, bacteria, and other decomposers, all of which contribute to the breaking down of the waste materials, as well the nutritious value of the compost itself.

One of the most important parts of creating compost is making sure the ingredients involved will not produce a final product that is a potential contaminant, which can result in a food safety issue. Proper aeration is necessary to meet FDA guidelines for producing safe compost, especially when in large batches. A compost pile with too hot a temperature for multiple consecutive days is a cause for concern, and some materials are not recommended for composting. For example, in smaller batches containing meat products can result in the mixture overheating, and also has an unpleasant smell that can attract animals. Adding ash or charcoal to one’s compost pile is also not recommended, as such materials contain high amounts of sulfur which can negatively affect plant growth. Though the composting process can seem complicated and difficult to get started yourself, there are plenty of free resources available on the web for composting. For more information on how to cultivate your own compost, below are a few links to pages that can get you started.

A good introduction to home composting:
United States Environmental Protection Agency: Composting at Home
Learn more about the uses of compost and its impact on the environment:
Compost and Mulch by CalRecycle
Dive deeper into perfecting your own compost pile:
Sydney Gardeners Ultimate Guide to Composting
List of materials that can and can’t be composted:
What Can Be Composted by Personal Creations
A guide to more resources on composting:
Compost Resources by Compost Foundation

Brochure Cover See Cold Creek's comprehensive Product Catalog for details on our products and their benefits. Product Catalog
Book CoverCold Creek Compost is proud to be featured in the children's book Composting Abbie, a tale of how a whale can be composted, and how a tragedy can be turned into an opportunity. More
  • Hispanic Heritage Month Fair

    September 19, 2023

    Last weekend, Cold Creek Compost made an appearance at the Hispanic Heritage Fair in Ukiah, hosted by our local paper Al Punto. Our booth featured samples of our products and was staffed by our highly qualified crew!

    Keep Reading...

  • Boonville Barn Collective: Compost-Fed Chilis

    August 14, 2023

    We love to see our customers get well-deserved recognition. A local chili farm in Boonville, CA called the Boonville Barn Collective grows a variety of highly acclaimed chilis. They were recently featured on PBS’s show America’s Heartland. Take a look at this short snippet about their farm:

    Keep Reading...

  • Composting: How It Works

    July 17, 2023

    The creation of compost has a long history dating back thousands of years, and the product itself is still highly popular as soil amendment for both large-scale farms and small home gardens. However, most people only have a vague idea of what compost is and definitions can vary. In simple terms, compost is made by […]

    Keep Reading...

  • CARB Regulations and Compost

    June 27, 2023

    Any press is good press? Not always. Cold Creek Compost is happy to make the news in AgAlert’s latest publication, but the article points out a tricky subject in our industry. California is well-known for its stringent environmental regulation, and Cold Creek Compost has long felt the strain of those regulations. While our primary function […]

    Keep Reading...

  • Gleaning Produce with Farm to Pantry

    June 9, 2023

    Our compost facility is a great place for your food waste to end up, but it’s even better if food never becomes waste at all. Produce gleaning is a great practice where ambitious individuals find fruit and vegetables that would otherwise rot on the vine and put it to good use. Farm to Pantry does […]

    Keep Reading...