Thursday, March 3, 2011

Stinky Love: Compost

Not too many bloggers are willing to openly declare their love for compost, but I am happy to say that I sure do love me some good compost.

Some good reasons to embrace composting...
  • You'll feel good about yourself- no more guilt over throwing away banana peels, grass clipping and coffee grinds
  • You get some serious street cred with the hippie folk.  But really, green is a good thing and if you're like me and you work in a very professional office setting, you can get lots of interesting reactions when talking about your compost
  • You have somewhere to throw worms!  It seems every time it rains, tons of worms crawl onto my drive way and then miss the message that the rain ain't gonna last and end up turning into little bits of fried worm... ewwww.  Instead, I can just scoop those little buggars up and throw them in the ole compost pile
  • Your garden will thank you- adding compost will help keep your plans nice and healthy
  • There is nothing more fun than watching Seth turn the compost pile.  I'm too short to reach over the sides of our pile...

How Composting works in our house...

Our actual compost pile is located way back in the yard, so we keep a bucket outside the kitchen door.  This is so easy, as we can just toss our scraps into the pile
So then once the bucket gets full, Seth or I carry the bucket to the back and dump it in the big pile...
Turn it over a couple times a year and before too long you'll start getting some beautiful stuff.

Do note that there are two different approaches to composting.  The hot compost method is for those super over achievers who want their compost and they want it now.  In this method, you are required to turn the compost every couple of weeks and keep it evenly wet.  This gets the internal temperature up and causes everything to breakdown really fast.  The other method is the cold method and is better for those of us who are a little more patient.  Using this method, you dump your scraps in and you leave them.  About a year later, you are good to go.

How to start composting...
  • Start by building yourself a compost pile.  Just google something along the lines of "easy compost pile plans" and you'll get a ton of hits.  Pick the one that suits you best!  If you don't have the yard space, there are plenty of counter top composters. 
  • Layer in the good stuff- technically there are all sorts of requirements about you need this much of this and that much of that, but again, that for those overachivers.  Our compost pile is mainly composed of kitchen scraps, grass clippings, fallen leaves, the occasional torn up newspaper, etc.  Just make sure to keep items such as grease, meat, fat, and dairy products out of your heap.  They will do nothing more than attract varmits and make a really nasty smelling mess.  Although, in our case, even though our pile is clear of these items, Matilda and Oliver do occasionally try and pull out baked potato skins and other gross things...  But seeing as how Matilda and Oliver are gross dogs, I hope they are the exception here.
  • Turn your pile every so often
  • Enjoy the goodness it produces and feel exceptionally good about how thrifty and green you are!

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