Wednesday, August 1, 2012
When Composting is the (Fruit) Pits
(Singing) It’s the most won-der-ful time of the year…for fruit lovers like me anyway. Few can resist a perfectly ripe peach or a bowl of sweet red cherries. But what happens to all of those seeds or pits? Will they break down in a compost bin?
Yes…eventually. Stone fruits like peaches, cherries, nectarines, apricots, and plums, as well as some other fruits like avocados, mangos, and olives have rock hard pits that do not compost easily. They can withstand floating across the sea and passing through the guts of animals so your compost bin doesn’t really intimidate them.
But that doesn’t mean you should give up.
These tough fruit pits take a few years to decompose in the compost bin but they will eventually break down. When you screen your finished compost you’ll find these seeds along with eggshells as some of the last holdouts. Just toss them back into the bin for another year.
But what if you don’t screen them out and that peach pit ends up being planted with your newly spread compost? Well, there are worse weeds than a volunteer peach tree. Heck, let it grow for a few years and you could be picking your own fresh peaches.
Now that really is just peachy.
If patience is not your best virtue, you could soak the seeds in water to speed up the decomposition process. Discarded boiling water (like when you strain spaghetti) will soften the pits even more.
Of course, there are lots of creative folks out there coming up with alternative uses for seeds rather than composting. Here are a few ideas:
• Grow new trees
• Use as a filling in bean bags and heating pads
• Make your own natural jewelry
Can you think of other uses for tough fruit pits?