Everyone loves food. And most food needs dirt. But not all dirt is created equal. Fortifying it with compost is essential in most gardens and farms. Not only does compositing help us grow better, but it reduces the waste that we see in landfills.

As good as compost is, we do have to be careful with it. The most well-known hazard is probably fire. The process of breaking down organic matter creates heat. Under certain conditions this can ignite a fire. This would require not only the heat from decomposition, but also dry material that could ignite as fuel and the addition of oxygen. This usually happens when an ill-maintained pile gets turned. Maintain your pile, turn it regularly, keep it appropriately wet and this problem won’t exist. Possibly as common are compost fires cause by electrical problems or ashes that were meant to be thrown into the compost but have not properly cooled.

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