Monday, April 28, 2008

Composting 101

I had a comment from Sherri asking for more info on composting, so here it is. If you haven't started composting, maybe this will make you think twice. What is composting? In a nutshell, it is a place where you put veggies, fruits, leaves, grass clippings, coffee grinds, egg shells where it will decompose and produce organic material for your garden. Basically it is giving back to the earth. Instead of throwing away the ends of your celery, your cucumber peels, banana peels, etc, you put them in your compost bin (or pile) and let nature take its course. No it does not smell. Once in a while you turn it, preferable with a pitch fork so as not to kill your herd (of worms that is) and then add some water once in a while. Soon, you will have rich, dark, organic compost to add to your own garden which give nutrients back, keeps soil moist, and keeps weeds down. And, if you live here in Gilbert, the Town will give you a compost bin for FREE! Gotta love that. They even deliver it right to your doorstep, with instructions, call 503-6400 for yours. We put it right next to our air conditioners/trash cans. We just had a compost pile in Mira Mesa. We used a far back corner and just started there. It can even be a plastic bin with holes poked in the botton so it doesn't get too wet when it rains (or cover it for added protection). We keep a small covered container on the kitchen counter and empty as needed. With the new juicer we are emptying that thing multiple times per day. It is a pretty simple was of giving back to the earth some of the nutrients that we take from it. You will gather worms who basically go in and eat the food and digest it into organic matter. And, it is pretty amazing how much heat is generated by this process! The great fresh dirt comes out the bottom and you put all the stuff in the top. I hate to waste food so I love the fact that ALL of our fruit and veggie scraps go to the compost. Between composting and recycling, we have about 1/2 of a trash can of trash each week. And we still have a child in diapers! I love that on average, we have about 1/2 - 1/4 the trash for similar sized families. Very little goes into the landfill from our house, I keep looking for ways to reduce that even further.


Sherri said...

Thanks for the great information. I had no idea that we could request a compost bin. Yeah! I am excited to give this a try.

Shari Goodman said...

I have been wanting to do this for a while but was worried about the smell. Thanks for the info! Can't wait to start. My garden will love it! Loved your post on organic info. I was just going to blog it. I will have to link your blog to mine so others can read if you don't mind!