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tangerine peelsIt did not occur to me to soak food scraps for nearly two decades after the IWS was conceived. While I do not presently have evidence of the benefit of soaking food scraps (one day I will test soaked and unsoaked samples in a compost pile), I did perform a quick test of soaked vs. unsoaked peels. The photo shows two sets of tangerine peels: The left set was soaked in water for 24 hours; the right set was sealed in a plastic bag along with a few drops of moisture to prevent dry-out.

My theory is that soaked peels will decompose more quickly in a compost pile for two main reasons:

1. The citric acid acts as a preservative and the soaked peels have lost some of their acid to the water
2. The peels will absorb water which will hasten microbial breakdown.

While the picture cannot prove much about citic acid content, the left side peels clearly have absorbed some water (yes, one day I need to determine how much) it can be concluded that the soaked peels have a lower citric acid percentage. Look at the two samples...the soaked peels appear to be melting...when I do the pile test do you think there will be a noticeable difference in decompostion after a month...is the pre-composting-soak worth it? I know my answer!

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