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Almost everything organic that will break down! A compost pile is a living ecosystem. For that ecosystem to thrive it needs moisture, oxygen and the right mix of ingredients, especially carbon and nitrogen. Carbon is the energy source for compost. Nitrogen provides the proteins that microbes need to grow.


The Brown – Green Mix:

In composting, you hear a lot about the Brown – Green mix. What is brown and green? Green materials provide the nitrogen. They are usually green in color with a high water content. Vegetable peelings, coffee grounds and rotten pumpkins are examples of Green.

Brown materials provide the carbon. They are usually yellow, tan or brown in color with low moisture. Dead leaves, dried grass, shredded paper, dryer lint and straw are examples of brown.

Keep in mind that some items are both Brown & Green and perfect for composting. Freshly cut grass, for example, has a high water content and is considered a “green” even thought it will quickly dry and turn into a “brown”. Do not worry about the label, just add it to your compost.


We recommend two to three parts Brown for every one part Green. Don’t worry about the exact proportions. The material you have available to compost will always be changing. Your compost fill will always be an approximation.

As you work with your compost pile, you will quickly learn how to keep the mix healthy. If the compost gives off an ammonia odor or looks soggy, there is too much green – add more brown. If the pile is too dry and crunchy – add more green.



Grass clippings
Wood chips
Pine needles
Paper towels
Tree bark
Wood ashes
Shredded newspapers
Houseplant trimmings
Potted garden soil
Old leather
Nut shells
& Etc.


Leftover vegetables
Leftover fruit
Leftover bread
Coffee grounds
Leftover pasta
Banana peels
Leftover molasses & honey
Potato Peelings
Citrus wastes
Rotted Squash & Pumpkins
Unused herbs
Tea bags and grounds
Egg shells
Cow manure*
Chicken manure*
Rabbit manure*
Tobacco wastes
Leftover Cheese
Leftover Yogurt
Shrimp, Crab & Lobster shells
Spoiled canned goods
& Etc.

*Note for manure – we recommend composting the manure of plant eating animals such as birds or cattle. Do not compost the waste of meat eating animals such as dogs.




Yes! Composting and vermiculture work together. A lot of our customers add worms to their Compost Sak™! Worms will help with the natural breakdown of Compost. They will regenerate inside the Compost Sak™. You do not have to add worms for the Compost Sak™ to work, but it can add to the fun!


© High Caliper Growing Systems, 1997-2010