Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Fresh-ish, Clean-ish, and definitely Greenish!

Composting 101 (or so I hope, because we've just started).

Basil from our garden.

It's supposed to be really easy, really good for the planet (yay!), and save us some trash space. And I think it'd be super great to not have to buy dirt for my garden next year.

Start with a plastic bin (4 bucks at wally-world) and drill 8-10 holes into the bottom and in  the lid like this:

Cover the bottom of the bin with crunchy leaves or shredded newspaper, then cover that with a foot or two of dirt (we were lucky enough to have some lying around), and moisten (moisten = damp, not soaked) with warmish water.

You're ready to compost! (Seriously - it's that easy). Just collect your composting materials, dump them into the bin and cover with dirt.  3 - 4 months later and you have steroid-like-awesomeness for you garden, pots, or lawn.

Here's your compost materials:

Browns (carbon):

dried leaves
wood chips
dookie (but not dog doo-doo - only veggie-eating animal doo-doo is safe)

Greens (nitrogen):

dried grass clippings
kitchen scraps*

You want to have a good ratio of browns to greens - this site (where I got most of my info) says the "ideal" ratio should be 25 brown to 1 green - we'll see about that - that seems a tad unreasonable.

*Kitchen scraps you should be composting: melon rinds, carrot peelings, tea bags, apple cores, banana peels, egg shells, etc., etc., etc....(but not dairy, meat, or stuff like salad dressing, PB, or limes, which are too fatty and acidic, respectively).

We're keeping our kitchen stuff  under the sink in this cool little jar that we picked up for $4 at Walmart:

Make sure you use an air-tight jar -
you want to keep bugs out and keep smells in.

When it's full just dump it in the bin and give it a stir:

Our dirt was more like mud, so we had to get drier dirt
to cover the kitchen scraps. 

Easy, Peasy Compost!

Vanessa and Stephen

P.S. Supposedly, if you keep your compost moist (just damp, not soaking), and keep the dirt covering the food scraps, you won't have stink or pest problems. We'll keep you updated on that. And if you're thinking we came up with this all on our own, you're too kind. (We got our ideas from here and here.)

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