Wednesday, April 23, 2008

There's Gold in Them Thar Hills!!!

Black Gold that is!

Translated: COMPOST!

This is the first year I've gotten to see the fruits of my (limited) labor come to fruition regarding my compost pile.

All of last year I added to my pile, turned it once in a while and added a little dirt and water. Little by little the scraps disappeared and come spring it was all a beautiful black loamy soil ready for use in the garden. (BTW, that picture is not my compost pile.)

Compost is really one of nature's miracles. It replenishes the soil and allows you to fertilize without using chemicals.

And it's easy. And FREE. Oh sure, you can buy some pricey composting units (and believe me, I've been tempted.) But I spoke with a guy who had both a composter and a plain pile right next to it and he told me there was virtually no difference.

Basically, my pile is in a somewhat shaded spot (just because that is where I have room) I compost:

All fruit and veggie scraps
Coffee and Coffee Grounds
Tea Bags
Wine Corks
Cut flowers that have died
Garden Waste/Cleanup
The soil from my planters at the end of the year
And just recently, I asked a neighbor for a bag of his spring cleanup raking that contained small leaf particles and grass thatch. (yes, I'm becoming a bit of a compost freak!)

NEVER use animal scraps or oil of any kind. They attract wildlife and are not good for your garden. Some people compost their newspaper but we don't get the paper. You can also compost your coffee filter (we have a re-usable one) if you do plan on doing that though you should probably get the unbleached natural ones.

Throw a little dirt in there once in a while. Turn it once in a while. Wait all winter! In the spring you'll be amazed.

You should probably also read up on this a little more but sometimes the books make it sound a little more complicated that I just have. It isn't! REALLY!

And another obvious benefit is less trash and less waste!


lightening said...

Well done on the compost!!!! It's a part of gardening I am YET to master.

Christine said...

Oh jump right in! It's so easy. I used to be a bit intimidated by it actually. But it was easier than I thought. Really. You can start with a little soil and start throwing stuff on. Perhaps the first stuff you could put the waste on the bottom and the cover it with some dirt to get it started. It's easy! I promise!

Teamcarbone said...

How far from the house did you keep your pile and how did you "gather" the waste you added to your compose pile?

Christine said...

My pile is at the back of the property (right beyond the white fence.)

As for gathering, I just keep a large glass lidded Pyrex bowl in the fridge or on the counter if we're doing a lot of cooking and will have a bunch of scraps. Sometimes I empty it every day. Sometimes every few days. Mostly it's in the fridge so it doesn't smell (esp in the summer months) Yard waste I take right over to the pile.

Krista said...

Thanks for the tips! I have never been good at compost.

I want to make a rotating barrel composter (but am having a heck of a time finding a "food grade" barrel).

Christine said...

Well if you can't find a "food Grade" barrel then who can??? Your husband doesn't have one at work??