Saturday, November 21, 2009

Still Composting Away...

Just giving a shout out to let the world know that I am still composting away!  I started in March.  It's become so second nature, I don't even think about it anymore.  I fill up a 39 oz coffee can about every other day (or twice a day on days like this - making a butt load of Beef Stew from scratch and there are a lot of veggie scraps). 

I just thought as Thanksgiving and winter is approaching, it might actually be a good time to start composting if you have thought about it.  The colder weather means fewer bugs - so you won't be as grossed out than if you started in the summer. 

I made a ghetto Compost Bin with stuff we had here.  I took a garbage can that wasn't really needed (and kind of beat up).  I took my husband's cordless drill and drilled about 100 holes all over it.  I think I used a 1/8" bit or maybe even a 1/4".  Or maybe 5/8".  Any of those will work though.  Then I put the top of the garbage can on and have two bungie cords on it.  I actually never bungie cord it closed unless I'm rolling around to keep all the stuff inside.  I haven't had any critters try to get in it.  In the summer, I keep it away from the house (it gets lots of fruit flies - but that's fine - they help the decomposition).  Now that it's colder, I have moved it closer to the backdoor so it's easier. 

Here are the common things that I have been composting:

- Coffee grinds (with filter).  The paper filters decompose rather quickly.
- Apple peels (I've been on an apple pie kick)
- Potato & Carrot peels.
- Really, any scrap veggies and fruits.  I will even throw in left over frozen vegetables from dinner in it. 
- Egg shells
- Halloween pumpkins & gourds
- Leaves (not a lot - just some)
- Flowers that die

Do not put anything with meat product in it.  I guess it just doesn't decompose - and it will attract animals. 

After I cleaned up my garden, I had about an entire garbage can (55 gallons) of compost.  Not all of it was completely decomposed, but I just dumped it in my garden and spread it out.  Now I'm starting to refill it again.  When I raked up my yard, I raked a bunch of leaves into my garden.  Then I mowed over them with the lawn mower (my husband was at work at the time - he probably would have yelled at me for doing that as I'm sure it's not good for the lawn mower).  This way there are tiny pieces of leaves (and newspaper from my newspaper mulch) that will decompose in no time for next year's growing season. 

So go!  Compost!  Your garden will thank you!


Money Saving Maine-iac said...

Terrific post! I love our copost bin too. We ade ours out of scraps but it's not visible where it is so no ones offended by it's appearance. Spray paint your can black and things will really heat up and cook faster.

peace out,

Bill said...

You can speed things up and even get wood chips to decompose by "inoculating" your compost materials. Wood has an almost impervious chemical compound, "lignin", which is why it is FOREVER breaking down. Certain microbes (and termites!) have a digestive enzyme that will break it down, so I figure the more microbes, the faster the wood and all the other materials will compost.

Red Worms said...

You can add some composting red worms to that compost pile and it will make it even richer. And they absolutely love coffee grounds and egg shells. The addition of castings they produce and leavin in the compost will serve as your fertilizer. Be carefull not to get it too wet, however. You'll drown the worms.