Now that you have a spot set up for your compost pile, what do you put in it? You need a good mixture of green and brown materials. Green materials are things like grass clippings and fruit and vegetable scraps. Brown materials are leaves and papers. This combination is again to support the bacteria you are trying to get to work for you. They need certain nutrients that are available from the different materials. Carbon is in the browns and the greens are for nitrogen. The suggested ratio is 25 parts carbon to one part nitrogen. If you have too much nitrogen, don't worry, it will just smell a little funny. If you have too much carbon, the pile won't break down very well. You can always add other things to your pile like wood ash, seaweed, or shells if you need other nutrients for your soil but these are the basics.