Organic Brown Matter:

Having green matter is a great start to your compost, but in order for it to become really successful compost, and in order for you to avoid the smell of rotting garbage, you need to balance the nitrogen out with carbon. Where do we get carbon from?

That is simple, anything that is already dead and dried. Dried grass clippings, dead leaves, and brown pine needles all work just fine. The easiest way to equalize your compost and remove the odor is to add in equal amounts of dead, relatively dry “brown” matter for each layer of food compost or green matter. This usually means about once a week you’ll need to add in some of Mother Nature’s sheddings.

The key is balance – don’t think of this as a slimy food free for all. You want your compost to remain damp but not wet. It’s as easy as grabbing some dead leaves from the sidewalk out front and tossing them in. Newspaper works too. Whatever you decide to add to your compost pile, shred it! The smaller it is the quicker you’ll have compost. If you fail to shred your compost efficiently, your composting time can slow to a crawl. Keep your compost near an area with good ventilation, but keep it out of the sun. Compost will be warm anyway because of the exothermic heat created naturally by the breaking down of the matter, but you don’t want it getting too hot.