Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Compost

We started our compost pile last year right after we moved out here. We had previously talked about starting a worm bin compost in our apartment, but Andrew couldn't convince me that it wouldn't stink. Our composting right now isn't perfect, but it works. We would love suggestions about how you are rotating and adding to your compost! Here's the scoop on our system.

We have two piles. They each have a back and three sides that is made out of chicken wire and wood. All of the materials were discarded and left for dead on our property.

We put everything in one pile for a long time. We did this until it got really hard to turn and was starting to get a lot of dirt in. Then we start adding all of our new material to the other pile, while we rotated the old pile. When the old pile was completely broken down, we used it. And then we started a new pile there and let the now old pile break down. Make sense?
Our compost piles in their current state.  The pile on the right is what we are adding to right now and the one on the left is that one that is busy decomposing.
We put tons of stuff in our compost. Lots of weeds (not blackberries), raked leaves, old duck and chicken bedding, grass clippings, and best of all, most of our food waste. I was really surprised by how much this cut back on our bi-monthly garbage. I'm tempted to have it only picked up once a month now.

When we first started adding kitchen scraps, we were filling a bowl full and then taking it out everyday. Two problems with that system: fruit flies and we got tired of emptying it daily. So we got a rubbermaid bin, smallish size, with a lid and put in in a cupboard in our kitchen. Every time we have scraps, we add them to the bin and then reclose the lid. When the bin gets full, we spread it around in the current compost pile and bury it. Then we hose out the bin and start over again. It helps that a lot of stuff breaks down while in our kitchen. And no, it really doesn't stink up our house even though we have gone 3-4 weeks without emptying it. It sometimes amazes us.

Here is a brief list of common foods that we add to our kitchen scrap bin: ends of veggies, cores from fruit, whole meals that have gone bad, coffee grounds, and eggshells.

Things we never add to our kitchen scrap bin: meat scraps, large amounts of bread, dairy products, cat litter, or dog poop.

We would love to hear how you manage your compost, I'm sure there are so many ways that we could improve on our system!

1 comment:

Combitos said...

Hey! Our Aunt Kristie (my mom's sister who lives in Bothell and you met at the baby shower) is an expert super master extraordinaire of worm bins. She is your go to worm lady! My mom actually just started a couple months ago at her recommendation. I think she can help you get supplies and will give you worms to get started. You should hit us up if you are interested in talking to her or seeing her set up. She is amazing and LOVES teaching people about her wormies :)