Always cover exposed food matter with a layer of dried leaves or grass clippings. This will help reduce any odors that may attract pests. As the compost "cooks" and reduces, turn the pile with a compost fork every few days, and keep adding more layers. The pile should always be as moist as a wrung-out sponge. Too much or too little water can slow down or even stop the composting process. Water the pile with a hose or cover with a tarp during heavy rain, as necessary.