Most people don't think about their soil much. And why would they? You plant your veggies, give them some water and fertilizer and you're good to go, right? Not so fast.
Soil is not dirt. It has nutritional value. It is a living, breathing collection of organisms that form a perfect planting medium. And as we use that garden soil year after year, it starts to lose its vitality. And that's where compost comes in.
Compost is not fertilizer. Think of it this way, fertilizer feeds your plants, compost feeds your soil. Healthy soil, filled with healthy colonies of microorganisms, quickly breaks down any fertilizer you add, making it much easier for plants to take in. That is why you should top-dress your soil with compost often and dig as little as possible.
A composter is the perfect way to maintain a steady supply of "black gold." Kitchen scraps, yard waste, old newspaper, dry leaves -- all make for a fantastic compost! Just remember to add equal amounts of green waste (kitchen scraps) and brown waste (leaves) and turn often to get the heat necessary to cook down your compost to a dark black, crumbly consistency. Reduce what you throw away and increase what you add to the soil!