Colorful Compost: Top-Dressing with Juicer Pulp

Reader Contribution by Taylor Goggin
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 Photo by Landscape for Life.

Composting is a beautiful representation of the cycle of life. Looking at your produce at its purest form; have you ever thought about the process of it getting to your kitchen table? Starting from the farmer, who placed the seed in the ground, the weeks it took to sprout, grow, and harvest. Then finally ending up in your hands. It’s time we reconnect with our food and understand this cycle of life we engage with every single day.

If you are an avid juicer, you know that with each juice you make a decent amount of pulp. To some, this pulp is garbage, waste, or simply has no use. The reality is quite contrary! Pulp from juicing is actually a colorful gold mine for your plants. Just sprinkling the pulp on the ground or around the garden bed will add a kick of nutrients.

Adding all the pulp to your compost bin is also another way to give your pulp another life. Fruit and veggie pulp decomposes quickly considering it has already been broken down into fresh plant material from the juicer. Adding this freshly made pulp is a lovely additive to your compost bin. Thus, infusing your compost with a variety of nutrients. Once your scraps have been fully decomposed, mix the compost with some soil to yield healthy, happy plants.

Top-Dressing with Juicer Pulp

Here’s a quick how-to to walk you through the process:

  1. If you are creating your own compost bin, you can use a large trash can and drill or cut holes on the bottom of the bin to allow your compost to breathe. Creating holes is necessary on the bin or else your compost will get too humid and turn into mold.
  2. Next is layering your compost bin; you want to create a cross-section of layered brown and greens. For example, the bottom layer can be wood chips, above that green leaves or grass, above that brown leaves, and so on. Here is a good picture for visual learners like myself:
  3. Add the pulp from your juicer feel free to mix with items such as fresh manure, grass clippings. On top of this layer apply a small layer of brown items to allow your “live” compost to steep.
  4. Every week or two turn the materials with a rake or shovel. If you own a compost turner give it a spin every so often to distribute the moisture throughout the pile. If you don’t turn the pile it will take far longer to decompose and turn into compost.
  5. Depending on the weather where you live your compost pile should be ready within one to four months. In hot areas scraps break down quicker and compost can be ready within a month. The colder it is in your geographical area the longer the compost will take to decompose. Keep turning it and be patient. 

Using your finished compost in your garden, will provide your plants with nutrients, add oxygen and improve the soil texture. Healthy soil = healthy plants! We can see how produce can be used at any stage of its lifespan and how even at its pulp form can find a way into this “cycle of life”. Returning once again to the ground to helping future seeds sprout and go through their cycle.

Taylor Goggin is tropical gardener in Florida who gained her skills in cooperative agriculture while work-trading with a World-Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) program on the Hawaiian Islands. She now grows papaya, banana, avocado, fig, tomatoes, and medicinal herbs to make into inventive plant-based recipes. Connect with Taylor on Instagram, and read all of her MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.

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