Saturday, March 6, 2010

Compost Maintenance

If you aren't composting, you should seriously consider starting. All your kitchen scraps break down into great soil for your garden, and then you're not filling up the landfills with unnecessary material. It's as easy as setting up a holding space with cheap chicken wire. Several people have complained that they don't want a smelly compost bin in their yard, but our bin doesn't smell a bit! It's not surrounded by flies or crawling with critters either. The trick is to make sure to add plenty of dry yard clippings...the rule of thumb is 1 part kitchen stuff to 4 parts dried leaves, grass clippings, or other yard waste.

My "soil circle" has been doing a great job composting our kitchen scraps and yard clippings. Last fall we collected several bags of dried leaves that have provided a lot of the necessary dry material. I decided it was time to expand the soil circle and turn all the material (turning the material every once in a while will help it break down faster, it's not necessary though) Check out how dirt-like the material at the bottom of the heap is!

Here's Nick expanding the tube for me. It is now a couple more feet across.
True confessions: I'm not always good about running the kitchen scraps out to the would be shocked how quickly this stuff accumulates. I had no idea how much food scrap we produced until we started to compost it...what a waste to just throw it away...go get your compost bin today!


  1. I so want to do this!!! I'm intimidated by the smell and since I didn't bag a bunch of leaves last fall I would have to lay our grass clippings out to dry which sounds like a time-consuming mess. Suggestions?

  2. We have plenty of leaves and could easily give you what you need until next fall when you can collect your own. Let me know when you are set up with a bin and I'll bring them over. I will add a few links to this post with websites to give you ideas for a bin. If you want to invest in a nicer bin than chicken wire there are lots of great systems out there. Happy Composting!

  3. I just realized I posted a comment to you...confessing that I have been reading your blog this weekend, but I posted it on a post from months ago, which you will likely never see. Anyway, I am impressed with all that you are doing and have had fun getting a glimpse of your life. We are just hours south of you, maybe someday our paths will cross again!
    love, Erica (Nicolaysen) Ledesma