Composting This Summer–




This winter our compost bin was hit by a snow plow. I’ll spare you the long story, but it is cracked up and down the sides and has seen much better days. Thankfully, I have been thinking about developing a new system anyway.

Why? Well, I never stir it, or manage it in any way, other than to add food that has been sitting under my sink for far too long.

So it seems I am ready for a compost tumbler. The Green Daily has a link to a website that shares more than you ever wanted to know about compost. And the author describes the many good points of owning a compost tumbler. Apparently all you have to do is turn it every so often. I think even I can handle that.

Why compost? The average family throws away over 200 lbs. of kitchen waste every year. Just think about all that biodegradable food waste just taking up landfill space when it could be turning back into beautiful, usable soil for your garden, potted plants and window boxes. It is the perfect closed loop, and with recycling, this can seriously lessen your families’ solid waste, and impact on the planet.

One thing that makes composting more palatable for reluctant spouses (oh yes, I have one of those) is to have a kitchen pail for kitchen scraps until there is enough to be emptied. Having one of these will prevent what happens in my house everyday– a bowl or container of food waste, potentially stinking or attracting flies. Many pails have a lid and even an air filter in case you don’t empty it everyday (not that you will be like me in this regard!). I hope to get one of these soon.

With some of these tips from the above links, you can happily compost with minimal effort and problems. And just think of all that food waste turning into nutrient rich soil for you to use with your family!

6 Responses to Composting This Summer–

  1. Frank June 5, 2008 at 11:25 am #

    I totally agree on the trash! My girlfriend and I started composting and recycling, and just this week had basically one bag of trash half-full (just a regular kitchen-sized bag) for a family of 5. Our neighbors have bags and bags at the curb.We have a lot of luck just having an open compost pile. It seems like it would smell bad or attract critters, but it really doesn't! Start it with small pile of dirt covered in lawn clippings or leaves. I just open a hole in the middle, dump the kitchen scraps in, then close it back up with dirt and grass. It does turn into compost quicker if you mix it up, but it will still break down if you don't (unless the pile is really big, in which case it might be oxygen starved).Sometimes we see corn cobs strewn about, so we probably had visitors, but no long term problem with them. That is probably because didn't have a lot of covering. No smell or bugs flying around, though! We live in a closely-populated city, and its definitely not a health problem by any means.It works great and you don't have to buy anything.

  2. Brenna June 5, 2008 at 12:50 pm #

    We are going to start composting again this summer. I like the idea of the compost tumbler, but wow is it expensive!

  3. Katy Farber June 5, 2008 at 4:29 pm #

    Frank, Thanks for the tips! My pile has bugs. Maybe I'll set something up like that instead of shelling out the big bucks for a tumbler. Brenna, I know, it is expensive! I do remember what we did in college that seems to work. We took a big plastic garbage pail with a clip on lid and drilled holes in the sides. We put compost in there and then we would roll it "once" everyday. This seemed to work, although this was awhile ago, and I can't remember the quality of the compost. Thanks or commenting!

  4. Frank June 6, 2008 at 7:04 am #

    katy,Maybe we have just been lucky, but so far no bugs flying around the compost heap (there are lots of bugs inside the compost pile, but they have to be there, of course). Composting meat, grease or dairy products can lead to pests, too.I read somewhere that the kitchen scraps need to be covered with at least 8 inches of soil/yard clippings to prevent pests. I use much less sometimes and its not a problem.Frank

  5. Maria June 18, 2008 at 6:39 am #

    I've been talking all spring/summer about starting to compost, and once again, you've inspired me. I've ordered the tumbler…

  6. Maria June 19, 2008 at 12:23 pm #

    The composter has arrived… and the pail… Just in case you wanted an update. LOL! Basically, I can't contain my excitement.

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