In the fall I built a compost bin. Having a healthy balance of green (nitrogen-rich) and brown (carbon-rich) compost promotes decomposition; an ideal ratio is about 4 parts brown to 1 part green. One issue I have is that our kitchen and garden compost produces plenty of green matter, in the form of veggie scraps, weeds, and trimmings, but not nearly enough brown matter to balance it out. Fortunately, my neighbor just down the alley is a woodworker, and every week she puts out a garbage bag full of sawdust. After chatting with her, I now have a ready supply of sawdust, which is a wonderful brown compost additive: its small particles have a high surface area, so it decomposes faster and absorbs more moisture from the greens. Now I’m helping my neighbor to divert some of her waste while I’m putting it towards building better soil and, with any luck, growing better vegetables.