16.3.10

Green excitement

Did you know I'm a composter? Okay, to clarify, I compost starting in March and usually ending some time in late November. I then take the cold winter months off because a) who wants to trudge around in the cold carrying buckets of slop and an unwieldy shovel? and b) compost doesn't really get warm enough to properly decompose in the harsh of winter, so why bother?

But it's composting season now. I went out to examine my pile(s) earlier and was so proud of them. I started composting last spring without any idea of whether it would work ... or if I would tough it out. Because surely composting is difficult, right? The correct answer is not really. You save kitchen scraps (greens) and paper products (browns) and then bury them in the hole in the ground. Scatter dirt on top to mask the food smell and turn it every few days. In no time your food and paper waste becomes organic matter that's perfect for gardening.

And even if you abandon it, as I did back in November, you'll still be amazed by the richness of the soil. This is our yard (notice how the grass is splotchy and weak):
And this is where I kept the compost (notice the lush weeds):
That's what I'm talkin' about! I am a firm believer that you don't need fancy composters or tubs to make good use of your waste (and keep it from sitting in a landfill). A patch of ground away from the house, a shovel and some elbow grease are enough to make you a professional composter.

So don't think I'm a sell out when I tell you that my darling mountain man bought me this (much cheaper at Lowe's, mind you) as an early mother's day gift:
We have no room for it on the deck just yet because somebody is from Tennessee and sees nothing wrong with filling the deck with boat seats, but I've demanded he make room for it in seven days or less. And then my composting-the-easy-way will begin (and I will look back fondly on trudging around with the bucket and shovel).

To keep my street cred, I do plan to go out back and dig up my own worms. And maybe pet my compost from last year. Because that's totally street cred worthy, right?

**This post is part of the 30-minute blog challenge, Works For Me Wednesday, and Wordful Wednesday.

32 comments:

  • Cheri

    yeah Kelly! I appreciate anything green. I carry reusable bags to the grocery store and we recycle all of our plastic, glass, aluminum, and paper (incl newspaper and junk mail).

  • CaneWife

    You lost me at worms. :)

  • BigLittleWolf

    This was pretty cool!

  • jen

    Great post! Speaking of worms, we're able to do a little composting year round due to our little worm friends. My sons love feeding their worms. We keep it in the basement in the winter and in our garage during the summer. I'm also planning on building a compost bin with wooden pallets that I got for free at our local hardware shop.

  • Kelly

    @CaneWife - Worms aren't really that bad. I had earthworms, centipedes, grubs, and more in my compost pile last year and it definitely helped. If you compost in the ground, the worms come on their own.

    @BLW - it makes me feel cool (in a really dorky way)!

    @Cheri - you can compost newspaper and some mail. Those are considered browns. I bought a shredder to reduce the surface area and make it easier to turn them once they got in the whole.

    @Jen - I'm hoping the deck composter will make it easier to keep going through the winter. I'd like a huge bin (bc I could use more leaves and yard waste), but that'll come in our next house.

  • Janine

    I am on the same page...really...I had an awesome garden last summer, and being that we're moving, the first thing I'm doing (besides unpacking, painting, yada, yada) is creating a compost pile. I had the best time with my garden and I love to cook so it's monetarily necessary. Good job. I'll be joining the compost club before you know it!

  • Muthering Heights

    I love worm composting!!! I hope it goes well for you! :)

  • Allison

    We're thinking about starting to compost this year too. The worms gross me out a little, but I think I can get past it.

  • Kelly

    Composting is so easy, Janine! I really recommend it. It cuts down on landfill waste, creates really amazing soil, and you get a nice fresh air boost when you're out turning it.

    I hope you go for it!

  • Kelly

    @Allison - if you compost out in your yard, the worms come on their own. I never added worms to my compost because they found it very quickly.

    What you really need to brace for is the potential stink of counter-top bin. I got one with a locking lid that kept the smell minimal (though I only emptied it when it got full ... usually every two days or so).

  • KK

    I don't even own a shovel, so you are like a superhero to me!!

  • Kelly

    @KK - moment of honesty: I had to borrow both a shovel and a pitchfork until I had time/energy to buy my own. ;)

  • { L }

    My mom swears by this! I've always been fascinated by it but I've never tried. You've got me thinking. ;) Maybe this is the year...lol. You rock!

  • Marianne

    Living in a condo without a yard or any space for a composter I am unable at this time to do any composting. The neighboring city offers composting for their residents, but not ours which makes me sad.
    I used to compost back in my home country and would love to get back at it. Some day though, some day...

  • Lee the Hot Flash Queen

    My friend does this...my daughter asked me to do it...I declined, as I would be the only one composting and it would be just one more thing that takes up space.

  • becca

    I am so impressed! Seriously, impressed and now feeling guilty. For really not even knowing what the word "composting" meant until reading this post. Well I did, kind of. Ahem.

  • Denise

    We have a composter and use it for all scraps.
    Hi SITSah!
    I am following from SITS to see how many SITSahs I can support today.

  • Stacy (the Random Cool Chick)

    My aunt is big on composting - I need to jump on that band wagon! :)

  • Kelly

    @Marianne: I hear many people say they like using tubs inside (one woman keeps it in the cabinet under her sink), but I'm like you -- I'd want it outside or not at all. Maybe your city will get onboard soon!

    @Becca: Did you know I'm from the country? I mean, it's not horse and tractor country, but it's the South. Agriculture is big here, so you can find a composting seminar on every corner. That helps!

    @Denise: Thanks for following!

    @Stacy: Is your aunt old? Because my sister let me know that only old people and hippies are this proud of their compost. I'm not a hippie so you know what that means... ;)

  • CRAZYMOM

    Well, living in the woods and having crappy soil for planting, how can I NOT be a fan of composting? We have not been diligent enough about it due to the wold animals that roam our property, but we are trying to figure out a solution. Also, love worms. I try to swipe as many as I can wrestle away from my gaiter-clad boys.

  • JDaniel4's Mom

    I have thought about starting a pile recently. I hate not using the scraps.

  • parentingBYdummies

    Anyone who says street cred is awesome in my book. Mind you, my book is devoid of a chapter on composting, but still! I've wanted to learn how to do it; it's on my to do list for this spring (along with about 700 other things).

  • Carrie

    visiting from SITS.

    I keep meaning to start composting...maybe this year with be THE year :) I think I will send hubby out to pick up one of those fancy bins tho'

  • The Halbert Home

    I have one of those and I wouldn't put it on my deck. Only because the water sometimes leaks out when you water it to keep it wet and I think it would hurt the wood. I didn't stir mine last year and it wasn't ready when I went to use it so make sure to mix it up occasionally.

  • Kelly

    @PBD - Anyone who'll let me say composting gives me street cred is awesome in mine! :)

    @Carrie - It's easier than it seems. I wouldn't invest in a composter at first. Try a small tub to see if you'll keep at it.

    @THH - Do you like the composter? I can't decide if it's going to be worth the money. I turned my compost pile every other day last summer, so my plan is to do it even more frequently when it's close to the house. Thanks for the warning, though. I'll be making room for it at the bottom of the deck now!

  • ~dawn

    Stopping by from SITS...

    We don't have a compost pile, we have a swampy area where the yard waste goes to become part of the natural composting that is life in a mini-forest/wet-lands!

  • Kelly

    @JD4 - That's why I started. I felt tremendous guilt putting kitchen scraps in the trash. Also, we grew up dumping food waste out in the back field, so it was sorta comforting to do something with it besides throw it away. I hope you give it a try!

  • Kelly

    @Dawn - Yep, that's how we did it growing up. Nothing goes to waste when you live in/near the country!

  • Ms Bibi

    Honestly, I am not kidding....if I had a composter my boys would dig in it.My mom had a nice one thou.

  • WhisperingWriter

    Very cool!

    I know my Mom does that too.

    Stopping by from SITS.

  • Kelly

    @Ms Bibi: My boy doesn't like getting dirty, but my girl told me she wants to live in a mud puddle so she can be muddy all the time. So I may have trouble with her this year!

    @WW: You are confirming my old people theory. ;)

  • suzannah @ so much shouting/laughter

    lush weeds...hahahaha:)

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