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Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by jim berman, Aug 20, 2005.
We just started composting... any tips? Do's & Don'ts?
1. heres a good link: http://whatcom.wsu.edu/ag/compost/
2. check out the 'Rodale Book of Composting'.
3. another good source is back issues of Organic Gardening magazine c.1985-1990's-they had a monthly column devoted to readers compost sytems that had a lot of creative, safe and ingenious tips. worth looking for!!!!!!
caveat: this is one of those simple things you can do for free that can be as complicated, esoteric and expensive as you want to make it.
One mo' link!
NO leftover meat products..cooked or uncooked!
almost any kind of veggie peelings is great and also coffee grounds, leaf cuttings too.
For the optimum compost pile, you want it to be at least three feet wide and high. Ideally, you want to lightly layer dry browns (crispy leaves), greens (fresh cut grass, weeds, leaves, veggie trimmings, etc) and if possible a sprinkling of existing compost to get the bacteria going. Then water.
A good compost pile will be equal parts browns, greens, water and oxygen.
Technically, you "can" compost fruit and meat etc but this is best if you're on a farm away from civilization so you avoid complaints of odor. If you avoid fruit and meat, then your compost pile should not smell and you shouldn't have any problem with your neighbors, critters, or flies.
One spring I had 11 large trash bags full of oak leaves from the previous fall that were dry, bags of fresh grass clippings, and a bit of compost. I lightly layered each and within 2-3 days it was cooking at 165 degrees. I even successfully broke down gumball seeds. I was quite impressed. I'd read a lot about it so it was cool to witness the phenomena in person. It's truly amazing how little is left after the process is done.
Wow! Tons of input. Basically, what we've been doing is keeping a bucket in the kitchen and dumping tfruits, egg shells, coffee grounds, etc into a lightly tilled hole. Every couple of days, I 'turn it over.' I guess I need to incorporate some grass clippings as well as mounding the pile rather than keeping it in the ground. Right?
It just depends on what you have access to, how much room you want to make, how much effort you want to put into it, and how much actual compost you really want to end up with.
If you want to see the compost pile "cook" and visibly break down (I could see mine sink in volume 2-3 inches a day after I made a 2-3 hour effort in building a proper one. Within three weeks, it was a quarter of the volume I started with but you won't see this type of process unless you have at least 3 feet of volume to begin with - mine was probably four by four feet and I still add kitchen scraps almost daily.
What you're doing is certainly fine. It's recycling, instead of adding to a landfill. Just don't expect a great amount of actual "black gold" resulting for you to use. Your scraps are still breaking down.
nope. there are as many different ways to compost as there are to ....do things that there are, um, a lot of different ways to do. you are doing one of the right ways already! others include-biodynamic, hot, cold, pit (yours!), decomp, worm, three pile........thats only the tip of the iceberg. read up, and start out with whatever seems easiest for you and eventually you will adapt it to your specific needs. bet you already discovered that you DON'T have to purchase 'starter worms'!