Composting Simplified

It's always a bit confusing to me when people tell me they don't compost because it's too complicated. My mother used to compost regularly, back in the 1950s and '60s. All she dig was dig a hole in the ground next to the raspberry patch. It wasn't a big hole, just 18 inches across and about that deep. Every day when she had coffee grounds, vegetable scraps, potato peelings and egg shells, they'd go into the compost. About once a week she'd add a bit of soil and mix it in. When the compost pit got full, she'd dig another one and let the first one rot. She might turn the rotting compost a bit and by the next season she had rich, black compost that she used in her potted plants and garden. If she had this great kitchen appliance, her composting would have been even easier, because the smaller the pieces you put into the compost pile, the quicker it decomposes.

The Green Cycler is a handy addition to your composting. No cords to worry with, it's easy to turn the hand crank and chop the kitchen scraps so they'll compost faster. Green Cycler is available here and cost around $95 and will last for years.
The Green Cycler, a hand-cranked, kitchen scrap chopper.
Of course you don't put meat or food scraps in the compost, otherwise you'll attract the neighbor's dogs, cats, wildlife, all wanting to dig into the compost for tasty scraps. But egg shells, chopped vegetable scraps, watermelon rinds and carrot peelings, all go into your compost.
The drawer holds the chopped vegetables until you're ready to add to the compost.
It's a nifty idea, you put in the scraps, turn the handle and everything goes into the holding drawer. No smell, no mess, and when it's full, you simply pull out the drawer by the handle and carry it to the compost pile.
You can even compost directly into your flower bed if you don't have a compost spot. You might even add the scraps to a spot in the flower or vegetable garden, and every month, move a few few away and start a new one. In no time you'll have rich, soil with lots of nutrients for next year's growing season.

My compost bins.
Above are one of my composting areas at Long Creek Herb Farm. Weeds pulled from the raised beds, vegetable scraps, coffee grounds and things like squash, damaged tomatoes, etc., all go into the compost. It gets turned 2 or 3 times a year, one side is always the older, almost-ready compost and the other side is the newest. The next photo, below, is the compost bins at my favorite restaurant, The HerbFarm in Woodinville, WA. They grow their own organic produce in their own gardens and all of the vegetable excess from the kitchen goes into the compost.
One of several compost bins at The HerbFarm Restaurant.
My old friend, Felder Rushing, says there's no mystery to composting. "You just pile stuff up and let it rot." You can make it complicated or simple but it's a great way to recycle food scraps that would otherwise go into landfills. Happy composting!

1 comment:

wvfarmgirl said...

I have compost bin envy. Is that wrong?