Compost Green - Our Daily Green

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Compost Green

In yesterday's post, I promised I would write about composting today. As someone who wants to live green and save money, I find composting one of the simplest ways to accomplish that.

In prior posts, I've suggested brewing your own coffee (in unbleached filters I may add), planting a garden, and recycling. Composting is an extension of these concepts.

I prefer to compost in a bin, but last year, I just piled it in a vacant corner and turned it over every few days, burying the rotting plant matter. The soil I planted my garden in this year has benefitted immensely. This year, I made my own compost bin from an old garbage can.

Compostable materials include:

  • Kitchen scraps that are not meat or dairy based (no bones, fat or cheese)
  • Eggshells
  • Coffee grounds
  • Vegetable peels
  • Apple cores
  • Citrus skin
  • Banana peels
  • Plant trimmings
  • Dead headed flowers
  • Grass clippings
  • Leaves
  • NO pet waste 

I keep a small container under my sink to collect my daily compost materials. Instead of washing it down the drain with my disposal, I save my "green gold" to enrich the soil for my garden. I live in an area that has a lot of rocky/clay soil and the compost makes the difference between being able to plant successfully or not.

My garbage can composter has 1/2 inch holes drilled into it about every 6 inches to keep air circulating. It has holes in the bottom for drainage so it doesn't get too soggy and holes in the snap shut lid. Once a week, I turn the can on its side and roll it around a few times to mix the compost. I try to keep the moisture level like wet newspaper. If it gets too wet, I will throw in some shredded newspaper, if it gets too dry, I'll dump the water I steam my vegetables in. Corn water is fabulous for the plants.

The scraps decompose and become rich soil food. I don't use chemical fertilizer so it really enhances my plants. I had looked into purchasing a compost tumbler, but found the price tag too high for my needs. The garbage can is working just fine. I don't recommend using a metal garbage can, but rather a plastic one.

Don't throw out valuable, free, fertilizer and soil enhancer. Make it yourself and give back to your bottom line and the earth.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Well done Kim. My composter is simply a wooden construction at the bottom of the garden. Measuring 8 feet wide, 3 feet deep and 4 feet high, the crap gets thrown in the top and out of the bottom comes beautifully enriched soil. No turning, no dampening or drying... Perhaps it's just that it's been there for years and the worms in it do all the hard work. Without it my soil would just be impenetrable clay and rock.