All Things Andrea

All Things Andrea

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Gold in the Bank!

I LOVE composting!!! 
I've been hooked ever since I started composting almost 15 years ago.
As my sister said, when I excitedly showed her my accomplishments, "You need to get a life!!"
My response:
"Hey, this is LIFE!!"

Can you believe that this pile of kitchen scraps, yard and garden waste...

...can turn into something so beautiful, rich and beneficial,
and, without a tremendous amount of effort.
Plus, it's free!
Is this cool or what?!!!

Here's a picture of my compost bins:

From a gardening catalog, I purchased a system of three wire cages with wire pins that slip in and out of the corners, allowing easy assembly and access.  It's a great concept - simple!  I don't mess with special compost recipes, don't bother stirring it, don't use a tumbling composter.  I simply pile everything into the first bin.  When it's full, I fork it over into the middle bin and start filling the first bin again.  When the first bin is full again, I fork the practically composted waste from the second bin into the third bin, then fork what's in the first bin into the second.  By the time the first bin is full again, the process is usually complete - there is wonderfully rich compost in the third bin, ready to be used in my vegetable or flower beds.

Here's a picture of the second bin:

And, a picture of the third bin:

There's just a little bit of compost left in this bin.  Once this bin is empty, I'll fork the partially composted waste from the middle bin over and let it finish its process.  I usually end up with more than enough compost for my needs.  Last year I had so much that I ended up broadcasting it over my lawn!

As you can tell, I'm hooked!!

I compost just about all my yard and kitchen waste, as well as:
cardboard egg cartons
 shredded newpapers
brown paper bags
paper towels
even cardboard if it's too dirty for recycling!

The only things I don't include:
weeds with seed heads
diseased garden plants
cooked food scraps
meat of any kind
thick branches
paper towels contaminated with non-organic cleaning products
used potting soil (if it's not organic)

I've made the switch to organic lawn fertilizers, so there's no harm in throwing grass clippings or debris from edging the lawn. 
And, since I use primarily organic produce these days, there's no concern about pesticide residues ending up in my vegetable beds and ultimately in my body.

Cool, huh?!

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