Friday, May 25, 2007

Composting - and some photos

This week I had a chance to turn my compost pile for the first time. I've never done this composting thing before, so I was a bit worried about how it would all go down. You hear rumours about how compost piles attract pests, and I didn't want any vermin jumping out at me during the turning process.

In addition to the kitchen scraps I've been throwing on the pile, my husband added a great deal of lawn clippings to the pile. He didn't really know all of the composting rules, so he ended up just putting all the clippings on top. The pile needed a good soaking, and I needed to add some "brownies" to all the "greenies" in the pile.

I took almost everything out of the pile. I soaked down what was left in there and mixed it up a good bit. Here you can see my piles and baggies of shredded paper. I recycle a lot of our junk mail, but I shred anything with personal info. And now I shred it AND compost it. How cool is that? After I mixed up the greenies, I put down a layer of shredded paper as the brownie. And then I wet it all down with another spray from the hose. I kept this layering business up (greenies, brownies, greenies, brownies, etc) until everything was back in the pile. It took about 2 hours, but it was hot out there! I had to have multiple mini breaks. I am happy with the way things are going. No pests jumped out at me while I was turning. Actually the only pests I saw were flies and such and some crickets. Another cool thing is that I add kitchen scraps almost everyday and I didn't see evidence of even one (give or take a couple eggshells). In other words, those suckers are breaking down quickly and efficiently.

If you've ever thought about starting a compost bin, DO IT NOW! I am so excited about the possibility of black, rich compost.


Kate said...

This was a good post to read this morning. I need to turn my compost - as long as it doesn't rain!

Anonymous said...

Another good trick to compost piles is to run aerated pvc pipes through the middle. This allows air to flow through the pile and saves you the work of turning.