Block of the Month: Composter
Bringer of mulch happiness!
Welcome to the world of Minecraft, where even the task of waste management can become an epic adventure! Today, we're here to talk about the composter, an unassuming block that turns your stinky old food scraps into rich, fertile soil. Get ready to watch your farm thrive like never before...
Composters joined the Minecraft block party in the Village & Pillage update in 2019. Originally they required fences to craft, but then in the Buzzy Bees update they were updated to only require slabs. Since then, the only change we’ve made to them is that you can compost more things - mangroves, glow lichen, azalea, moss blocks, shroomlights, nether wart, and all sorts. The world is your slowly decomposing oyster.
Getting hold of one is very straightforward. You can craft one out of seven wooden slabs arranged in a U-shape in a crafting grid. If that’s not simple enough for you, you can even borrow one from a farmer in a village, though remember to bring it back when you’re finished with it.
To use one, place it on the ground, get some organic material in your hand, and then hit the use key onto it. Most food and plant-based items can be composted, with the notable exception of bamboo (too fibrous), poisonous potatoes (too poisonous), dead bushes (too dead), and meat and fish (too stinky as it rots). Everything else is fair game.
As you drop items in, you’ve got a chance to raise the compost level – and different items have different chances. Beetroot seeds, for example, have just a 30% chance, while hay bales have an 85% chance. When the compost level rises to the top then you can hit the use key with an empty hand and you’ll get some bonemeal – the perfect way to accelerate your farming endeavors.
In the real world, the composting process begins when tiny microorganisms, like bacteria and fungi, as well as creatures like insects and worms, start to eat the materials you throw onto your compost heap. They chew through it and break it down into smaller and smaller bits over time. This is called the "active" stage of composting, and it can take a few weeks or even months.
During this time, the compost may get hot and steamy – this is because the process creates heat. You'll need to keep it moist and well-aerated by turning it over regularly, which helps the microorganisms do their work and speeds up the decomposition process. Eventually, the materials will start to break down into a dark, crumbly substance. This is the "mature" stage, and it's full of nutrients that your plants will love!
About 20% of the waste that goes into landfills can actually be composted instead – so composting helps the environment. It also makes your plants happy, your soil healthier, and your garden grow. Give it a try – both at home and in Minecraft, and see the magic happen!
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- Duncan Geere
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