Compost by request

14 Mar

I love compost. I do. It’s odd, I know… but seriously, it’s interesting to see how organic matter decomposes and becomes soil again…

How I made mine. It’s really not as scientific as it could be… It started the first fall we were living in this house. we have a TON of leaves… so hubby piled them all in a corner of the yard… In theory, you are supposed to layer a good compost heap with leaves and hay and other matter so it doesn’t clump together and can allow air to move through… we just didn’t have those sorts of resources, and winter was closing in. When I cook, all vegetable matter (peels, cores, etc) get put into a bowl and later dumped on the pile, along with egg shells, coffee grounds, unbleached paper towels, cardboard… pretty much anything decomposable that isn’t dairy or meat. In the spring last year, I mixed up the heap (which is about 5 feet wide by about 2 feet tall) and added some hay (found on freecycle from a local farm) and when my brother came to visit and help me with the garden, we threw all the sod we lifted onto the heap. All summer we added “stuff” to it, and every so often I attacked it with a pitch fork (my neighbors thought this was a hoot: me out in a dress, boots, a big hat and a pitch folk turning up the compost…) and watered it when it was dry. Watering is very important, not only to the composting process, but it can get very hot in a compost pile, and I’ve been warned about spontaneous combustion- especially in dry weather and undisturbed piles. (read here for some compost fire information!) Be diligent and nurture your pile! It may help to to layer in soil, or at least some on top to quicken the degrading process.

This year, I’m sure I will work more on composting, last year was my first attempt at it and it turned out great (even with a huge amount of leaves!) I think the key is to make sure you turn it on occasion and add plenty of plant material… and keep it moist.

It doesn’t smell either. When I add kitchen scraps in the summer I will often toss some of the compost over it to hasten it’s decomposition and cover it to keep the smell at bay, but all in all we don’t have a problem with smell… it usually just smells like dirt, which is a good, almost clean smell. Yes, I just said dirt smells clean!

So that’s it really… Nothing special here, but there are lots of sites where they discuss composting in great detail. I kinda like my easy way for now, and I’ll add on a bit each year, I’m sure. I know people who have bins and fancy spinners, and I might like one some day, but they can get pricey (though not so much if I could get the hubs to build something…. ;)) like I said, this works for me for now. If you have a lot of wildlife, though, you may want some sort of container, I know even the dogs sometimes try to steal “snacks” off the heap if they aren’t buried!

Good luck and happy composting!!!

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2 Responses to “Compost by request”

  1. lizztruck March 14, 2011 at 5:18 am #

    Thank you, I love gaining new useful skills and practical knowledge, haha. I'm also trying to help some of my friends learn to sew. And your blogs are very helpful and encouraging. Thanks again!

  2. Ash March 14, 2011 at 10:17 am #

    Aw! Thank you so much!!! Your comments are always so encouraging! 🙂 (PS… I have the fabrics for your apron, I'm just waiting them to tell me what they want to look like… :))

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