Pile of pine needles with Collard plant and black compost bin in background
View of the compost area of our yard with volunteer Collard Greens. The compost bin is in the background. We put kitchen scraps in the bin and stack clippings, needles, and leaves to the side.

You must compost. That means save your vegetable kitchen scraps in the back yard and wait until they turn from looking like food scraps to looking like mulch. Composting is a natural challenge that is confronted and enjoyed every day. It is a challenge because the compost will attract insects, including but not limited to fire ants, and so it is kind of nasty to deal with. The best way to compost in the south is with an earth machine, here is an example. With this apparatus you will contain the writhing mass of insects that will come to break down your discarded scraps. So, buy the bin and start filling it with stems and grounds and rot and peals and cobs and crust. When the inevitable insects arrive rejoice for their efforts and the close the lid. Don’t worry this is just an introduction – much more will come about compost