Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Black gold

Do you compost? I started when I moved here two years ago, you see garbage pick up is not included in our house tax and every bag I leave at the curb costs $2.00. Not much but it adds up and with big gardening plans composting made sense.

I don't follow any one rule, I throw everything in but protein, like meat and cheese, that goes to the chickens and the dog.

I save all the veggie peels and coffee grinds from the diner and if I think about it I throw in the paper towels I use to dry my hands, it all goes home with me every day and into the compost pile. To that I add garden cuttings, some weeds, cut grass, leaves and the used wood shavings from the chicken coop.

I have three compost areas next to each other, one was an existing large box. Art made two more compost areas from wood pallets that he got for free from a large box store. I fill each compost area and if all goes well I should have ready to use compost from the first box I filled. Once I empty that box I start filling it up again by the time it's full the second box should have ready to use compost.

The compost pile has to get pretty hot to kill the weeds and break down all the green, leaves and paper so we sometimes cover it with black plastic...again Art got it for free from a large box store, that really gets it cooking and during summer we might wet it a little bit because if it gets too dry it may not "cook" very well.

You might think the compost is stinky but it's not, it just has an earthy dirt smell which is not all that unpleasant, so there you have it, pretty easy and a great way to keep garbage out of the landfill. When the compost is ready I rototil it into my garden beds in the spring and top dress my veggie patch during the summer.

The finished compost is full of big fat worms and is ready for my veggie garden.


Anonymous said...

Great post, Margaret. I am learning all about compost as we plan our first garden. I live a very exciting life.

Powell River Books said...

I have been composting for several years up at the cabin. That way I don't have to haul all the kitchen trimmings and garden cuttings down the lake. I use a wire cylinder and just throw everything in. In the fall I turn it over and bury the compost under a layer of soil. There it continues to decompose through fall, winter and early spring. By potato planting time it is ready to dig into my upper garden plot and each year my potato patch grows a little bit more. - Margy

CompostPyle said...

I compost, last name Pyle so why not compostpyle : ).

We have mantis dual composter and they are nice. Turn the crank everyday , then when ready just dump the compost in wheelbarrow and off to the gardens.

I also compost like your doing and I think it's just as good, got some really nice dirt from a compost pile made from pallets for container. Its really nice for when you have lots of weeds to pile up, leave alone and in a year it's ready for the gardens.

A project I would like to do is compost right on a raised bed then by next spring it will be ready to plant. I think this would be a good way to let beds rest and alernate the plantings. Maybe plant a ground crop and turn under as well.

Come fall I collect bags of leaves and save everything that goes well in the compost bin.

tc linda