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Where Can I Get Browns for My Pile?


July 26, 2020

I've just arrived in Albuquerque (zip 87106) and I'm anxious to start a compost pile.  I've got lots of kitchen scraps, but no brown material to go with them.  I made a half-hearted attempt using paper, but quickly drew a herd of roaches.  Do I have to trench compost until the fall when there'll be plenty of dry leaves?  Thanks for any suggestions you may have!


Answer by JZ: Welcome to NM !   Your question will be received by a few BernCo. master composters, who may also respond.  Here are my thoughts.

Great that you are composting. You did not mention the type of container (bin) which you are using.

Homemade Bins are described under Composting Info in our website menu.

Many manufactured bins are pictured on Anne, in a desert we are surrounded by browns. You may take a bag and rake, then go to local school, church or park and gather some brown leaves - now. Most paper products are browns: cardboard, used paper towels, napkins, tissue, egg cartons, coffee filters, wood shavings, saw dust and natural fibers: cotton, silk, burlap, felt all may may be shredded then added. All coarse bulking materials, sticks, twigs, pine cones, corn & sunflower stalks are browns. See our desert composting brochure under Desert Composting under Composting Info in our website menu.

I am not familiar with the concept that paper attracts roaches ?  Most composting setups attract insects, including roaches. They are helpful to the decomposition process.

Trench composting is fine any time. See the above webpage for a container in the soil bin.  If you want no insects, then an option would be the Bokashi closed bucket method (see Bokashi under Composting Info in our menu).

Hope that this is helpful.  Let us know if you need more info..  Be bold.  Compost on.

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