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Dear Compost Diva…. Why is Compost the BOMM?

diva4Dear Compost Diva,

Why do you refer to compost as the “Bomb?” The website says the meaning of “You’re the Bomb” is: “really good, great, the best!” Are you simply talking about the greatness of compost? Or, does the term mean something else?


Confused About “The Bomb”




Dear Confused,

I’m so proud of you for remembering that I like to refer to compost as the “BOMM!” But as you will notice, the word that I use to describe compost is spelled like this: “BOMM.” It’s not spelled “Bomb,” which is the spelling you referenced in your letter.  I definitely agree that compost is “really good, great, the best!” But the letters in the word BOMM are actually an acronym for Balance, Oxygen, Moisture, and Movement. These four words are the keys to the successful creation of compost. Essentially, compost IS the BOMB and the BOMM… if you get what I mean!

I’m sure you want to know more about the BOMM, so here is some more information about the meaning of Balance, Oxygen, Moisture, and Movement in relation to compost:

Balance: aim for BALANCE in your compost. Ideally, your compost pile should consist of about half browns and about half greens. Many experienced composters refer to this balance as a Carbon-Nitrogen ratio. Don’t be overly worried if you don’t hit that balance right on the nose. And certainly don’t let balance worries keep you from composting! Keep this motto in mind: Compost Happens! If the balance is not exactly right, don’t worry too much about it!

Just remember these simple guidelines:

Browns are woody and dry, or anything that WAS alive:

  • Paper
  • Dried leaves
  • Sawdust
  • Anything rich in carbon

Greens are moist and green, or anything that is NOW, or was very recently, alive:

  • Grass
  • Fresh plant clippings
  • Food scraps
  • Manures from non-meat-eating animals

Oxygen: promote the circulation of OXYGEN in your pile. Oxygen helps the beneficial bacteria in your compost pile to thrive. Here’s how Cornell University’s explains the scientific importance of oxygen in composting and what happens in its absence…yuck:

“An essential ingredient for successful composting is oxygen. As microorganisms oxidize carbon for energy, oxygen is used up and carbon dioxide is produced. Without sufficient oxygen, the process will become anaerobic and produce undesirable odors, including the rotten-egg smell of hydrogen sulfide gas.”

Moisture: It’s important to keep your compost pile damp. The proper MOISTURE level can be compared to a wrung-out sponge. An easy way keep your pile damp is by placing it near your yard sprinklers. But if you don’t have yard sprinklers, spray your pile periodically with a hose or covered it with a tarp. Some people use a plastic compost bin which helps maintain moisture. If your pile ever becomes too wet, simply mix in a bit of BROWN or dry material.

Movement: Ideally, your compost pile should have MOVEMENT. What I mean is periodic turning or mixing. A bit of elbow grease invested in moving your pile not only keeps your arms well toned, but also helps to distribute MOISTURE and OXYGEN throughout. Note, MOVEMENT is not necessary when using a “no sweat” composting method.

One of my favorite sayings has always been: “Life is Short. Compost Fast!” If you want guaranteed success, follow these simple rules:

  • Use the Green Cycler to create the perfect-sized pre-compost material out of your kitchen scraps – – this is the key!
  • Shred or roughly chop all the materials you put in your compost pile.
  • Promote circulation and beneficial bacteria.
  • Balance Browns and Greens.
  • Ensure contact with the earth.
  • Just Do It! It’s easy!
  • Ask questions and seek help if you need it!

-Your Compost Diva

1 Comment
  1. What about spent flowers that have been in a vase inside…are these able to be composted? I always have fresh cut flowers and hate to just pitch them…am I able to place inside the compost green recycler?

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