Compost!

 

Don’t be afraid of it.

Just because you are an urban farmer doesn’t mean you can’t have your very own compost, lots and lots of compost.

I LOVE composting because you get to make something useful and great for your garden from stuff that would go into the GARBAGE!

A win/win if you ask me!

Don’t let gardening articles with instructions about green:brown ratios, nitrogen, and other mind boggling facts requiring a PhD in Chemistry, intimidate you.

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 Don’t let complicated tumblers, bins and other expensive items featured in catalogues, scare you away.compost2 compost1

 

 

 

 

 Are you worried you will have your yard taken over by mounds and mounds of smelly rotting matter?

compost pile

Do you think compost is a lot of work?

Well let me make it simple for you.

Here is how it works:

You put a bunch of  plant matter together, keep it moist and warm, and let the good bacteria do it’s thing.

That’s it.

You really can’t go wrong.

If you are an urban farmer like me you want your compost pile to be small and discreet, and it will work best if it is in some kind of container.  I use rubber storage totes.

compost4

 I have several left over from when we moved here 2 years ago.  I have my hubby drill several holes in the sides, a few inches from the bottom, for drainage.  I place the bins in an inconspicuous but handy spot in the yard. Mine are next to my doggie back door.  (I am lucky enough to have two back entrances to my house – I use one for the dogs to go out to their own little fenced in area.  It is one of the reasons I chose this house – HONEST!)

coop 007

I throw dried leaves in my bins each fall, filling each bin about 1/2 to 3/4 full.  I throw in used pine shavings from the coop.  Before I had the chickens I also threw in my weeds.  Now the chickens get my weeds, they eat them and give them back to me as poop!   Coop cleaning is so easy.  I put on my work gloves each morning and grab the poop pile made by each bird overnight while she roosted.  6 little poop piles sitting on top of the pine shavings bedding.

coop 003

 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 -6 – DONE!  I drop the poop and bedding handfuls in my metal bucket and deposit it into the compost bin.

I save coffee grounds, tea bags, veggie peels, and any other veggie/fruit scraps that do not go to the chickens such as citrus, potato peels apple cores, and so on.  I have a small metal trash can under my sink for convenience.  Some people keep a bowl or coffee can on the kitchen counter for these scraps.

compost5

Use whatever works for you.

Every day or so I dump these into my bin and give it a stir with a garden fork.   During hot days I sprinkle on enough water to keep it moist.  In the winter it freezes solid so I can’t stir it but I just add my scraps anyway and it gets cooking again as soon as the weather warms up.

Once a bin gets filled, you can start another. I have several cooking at one time. When the contents of a bin look brown and crumbly – in other words like compost – we’ve all seen it or seen pictures so I know you know what I mean, it is ready to throw on the garden.  compost6

How fast this happens depends on how warm the weather is, how small your food chunks are ( some people help by chopping or blending their kitchen scraps) and good old Mother Nature.

My method does not cause odor except when you lift the lid to stir but I actually like the smell and it does not travel far so your neighbors wont complain even if you place your bins close to your property line.

My dog Mick loves when I lift the lids, he tries to eat my compost! Maybe he thinks he’s a plant.

Here is a link to another great way to keep backyard compost under control:

http://www.hometalk.com/4029405/easy-diy-compost-solution-gardenfeature

So there you go.  Anyone can make compost.  Make as much or as little as you need.  You can do it even if you live in an apartment and only garden in containers.  Rubber storage bins come in 5, 10, 20 gallon and up sizes so there is a size to fit anyone’s needs.

Don’t overthink it – get out and get composting!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Steven Criger
    Jul 28, 2014 @ 12:21:32

    i love composting

    Like

    Reply

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