How to Compost: Hot vs Cold Compost - CulinArt Group

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How to Compost: Hot vs Cold Compost

First off, what is compost?

Compost is a mixture of decomposed organic material packed with nutrients. Composting enriches soil, retains moisture, and suppresses plant disease or pests. Composting can also eliminate the need to use fertilizers for growth. Not only does composting aid in maintaining a healthy garden but also has benefits for the environment. The high volumes of water help prevent erosion in soil, reduce runoff, and establishes vegetation. It also can retain pollutants including metals, nitrogen, phosphorus, fuels, and pesticides from downstream water.

Composting may be a bit tricky to start up, so today we are going to talk about the difference between hot and cold compost and how to get them started.

Did you know, there are two types of composting: hot and cold.

  • Cold composting comprises of collecting waste from the yard or collecting organic materials from the kitchen and piling them up in a compost bin as it will decompose on its own.
  • Hot composting is more manual work. Hot compositing will decompose quicker with the following four ingredients: nitrogen, carbon, air, and water. These four ingredients together will feed microorganisms, which is why it is a faster process.

Steps on how to make hot compost:

  1. Combine brown and green materials into a pile
    • Make sure the pile is at least 3-feet high
    • Brown materials: dried plant material, dead leaves, tree twigs, carboard, newspaper, hay, etc.
    • Green materials: kitchen and vegetable scraps, animals’ manure, plant, or grass trimmings.
  2. Water your pile
    • Sprinkle water regularly to result in the consistency of a wet sponge
  3. Stir up your pile
    • Turn once a week to provide oxygen.
    • Best time to turn your pile is when it is warm (130-150 F).
  4. Feed your garden
    • Add 4-6 inches of compost to the garden at the beginning of each planting season

How to make cold compost:

  1. Pick a location
    • Out of direct sunlight but where it will receive rainwater!
  2. Build your bin
    • Either build or buy a bin and make sure it can rotate to mix
    • Add layers
      • Use compost safe items
      • Make sure items are broken up into smaller pieces to decompose faster
    • Maintain and check on it
      • Although there is little work to do, mix rotate the bin once a week and water it if it is not receiving water weekly
      • Add to it in little amounts
    • Harvest
      • After 6 months to a year your compost pile is ready!
      • Shovel out the ready material into the garden and start fresh!

Do you compost at home? Did you find this post helpful to get started composting at home? Let us know!!

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  • August 23, 2021



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“I wanted to let you know that for this entire school year I have been so well fed! I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE all the diversity of salad choices we have each day and the amazing entrees.  My favorites are the carnitas, chili, curry, and cajun chicken days.  I am so grateful for all the care that goes into the food because I know I do not eat enough vegetables or balanced meals without you and your crew's work.  Thank you so much!  You take such great care of us!!”

“I wanted to recognize the individuals at the Valley Forge Site Café who have been supporting us throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic.  I have been onsite at least a few days every week since June 2020 and I noticed that the team continued to provide quality and timely service for breakfast and lunch.  They effectively packaged the food to maintain CDC guidelines. Thank you!  ”

“We are so thankful and so impressed by your immediate attention to our power outage. It was such a relief to see all the equipment and workers coming in within a few hours of the outage. Thank you for serving dinner to all [the] students in a very difficult circumstance. Please extend our thanks to your workers who braved cold weather to grill hamburgers and hotdogs.”

“Even though we see challenges every day, each one of you rises to the occasion and makes it seem so easy. I cannot express how impressive it is to see you all work in such a fashion. You are true professionals.”

“Thank You! Chef Budd [and team], you overcame a new online ordering system (and hundreds of labels daily!), provided creative and healthy menus, continued to connect with local farmers to incorporate locally sourced ingredients, and worked tirelessly to serve the school community on three campuses.  While it feels like you are all a little like the Wizard of Oz right now, working behind a curtain in a kitchen far away, we sense your smiles and your passion to deliver the best possible service during these trying times. We are all so grateful!”

“I will say that CulinArt has always been a very collaborative partner to T. Rowe Price, listening to our current needs and future goals and suggesting realistic and achievable strategies to meet those goals.  2020 was obviously no exception.  CulinArt also altered other areas of our OCS and pantry programs to create safer environments for all our associates. We can only thank you for your continued flexibility and innovative ideas through these difficult times.”

“This has been a year of unprecedented uncertainty, but through it all, Denee, chef Darby, Samantha, and the whole CulinArt team, provided the best dining experience the school has had in my thirteen year tenure.  It was an absolute pleasure to work with them, and I can't wait for next year when the craziness of COVID brings everyone back into the dining hall for meals. We look forward to working with Denee, Chef Darby, Samantha, and the rest of the CulinArt team again next year.”

“I have really appreciated the wonderful cafeteria staff we have via Culinart and the thoughtful meals they provide our kids. They're truly one in a million. I have also really appreciated the dedication Parker and CulinArt share to sustainability and green practices on campus. I am so thankful that Parker has chosen CulinArt, a company that shares Parker values, and that they took the time and effort at such a hard time to make sure that Parker is always on the forefront of green practices and safety - never compromising.”

“Thank you so very much for the AMAZING dinner you provided for the President, Dean and Jim & Marilyn Simons. They really enjoyed it!! It was perfectly thought out and delicious. Your expertise and impeccable presentation and taste were truly appreciated!”

“We appreciate the excellent service that is a hallmark of the Chadwick Culinart team. You all are such professionals - and you always deliver your service in such a pleasant manner! Thank you for everything you do to help make the Village events successful. We greatly appreciate your talents, efforts, and kindness.”

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