Tuesday, June 8, 2010

~ Composting 101 ~

We are not fancy composters in this house. At the moment we have a pile on the edge of the back yard. I would love it if it was a three sided bin, like the ones at the landscape store that hold rock and mulch so I could turn it with the forks on the tractor. It will be someday, but we have way to many other important projects to finish before we worry about a "pretty" compost pile. We try and follow the recommendation of 1/3 green to 2/3 brown. We compost all of our table and kitchen scraps, egg shells, chicken manure, straw, leaves, grass clippings, wood chips, etc. Benefits of Composted Soil:
  • Improvement of soil structure
  • Soil with hold moisture evenly
  • Modifies and Stabilizes Ph
  • Holds nutrients longer
  • Provides nutrient to garden plants eliminating the use for synthetic fertilizers
  • Provides healthy bacteria
  • Healthy bacteria suppress plant disease
  • Binds lethal soil contaminants
  • Bacteria in soil can break down some toxic contaminants
  • Erosion and weed control
  • Helps reduce household waste
There are lots of different composters out there encompassing a wide range of needs. There are small kitchen models that do all the composting in one machine under your kitchen sink to barrels and bins that would fit in your back yard. If you live in a rural area the easiest way to compost is just a big pile.
This model fits under your kitchen sink, empty draw on the bottom after a few weeks.

Compostable materials go in the top and fresh compost comes out the bottom.
We have a enameled bucket that my sister picked up at a thrift shop for food scraps. There are fancy buckets that you can buy with charcoal filters and biobags, but trust me, you don't need fancy. Depending on the size of your family you will take the bucket to the compost pile every other day, hardly enough time for it to get stinky. Composting is really easy and I hope that this small amount of info will get your interest peaked enough to check into it for your own family. You get great soil for free, reduce your household waste, and save some money. Build Your Own Compost Bin Plans Composting 101

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  1. We have been discussing starting a compost pile for months, but we haven't set aside the funds yet to get a bin (and Tom would quickly nix the suggestion of doing it without a bin). Someday!!

  2. Great informative post!

    We are informal composters as well- hubby built some compost "stalls" near our garden, and we put our manure and the occaisional kitchen scrap in there (most of our other scraps are fed to the chickens or goats).

    It would be nice to have a pretty, compact bin, though! :)