First, we should talk about why we compost. There are lots of reasons: to reduce the amount of waste that we send to landfills (my personal favorite), as a method to get rid of yard waste like grass clippings or leaves and lastly, to improve the quality of the soil. I'm sure there are others, but to me, these are the most important! If you have clay soil or sandy soil, you could benefit by using compost as an additive to the soil to add nutrients, moisture and oxygen.
Once you've decided you want to give it a try, start thinking about the "how" part of the equation. You'll need to decide where to put it in your yard. It needs to be in a place that gets sun, but it doesn't have to be 100% sun. Mine is in the back of my yard, actually in my vegetable garden. Our yard is very shady and that part gets the most sun. It also needs to be in a place that air circulates.
Next, what kind of compost bin will you have? There are lots of different ways to do it. There are the kind you buy, like tumblers; and the kind you build with pieces of fence, skids or other salvaged materials; pit or trench composting or just a heap, like mine. It all depends on how much work you want to put into it and for some, what your neighborhood covenant will allow. (I recommend checking this out, since some neighborhoods don't allow it at all!) Since I am lazy and my neighborhood doesn't have a covenant, we have a nice heap. Here's what it looks like:
As you can see, it's nothing fancy. And you can really see it unless you're in the vegetable garden.
Next time, you'll hear about what's garbage and what's not garbage -- what to put in your compost pile!