In the interest of being able to budge the composter when we move in four weeks, I have stopped adding compostables to the pile. Hopefully by the time we’re outta here, all the lovely scraps of egg shell, corn husks and paper towels will have dutifully decomposed into delicious humus. Then we can spread that around and the composter will be empty so we can take it with us.

I had promised to tell y’all how it was going but I never did, did I?

To tell you the truth, it wasn’t so great for the first couple months – lots of flies and a bit of not-quite-pleasant green-smelling reek. I tried layering the kitchen scraps with leaves first, but they made mats that didn’t let water percolate, so I had dry and swamp layers alternately. Then I tried straw, which must actually have been hay because it just hosted more and more flies, as if it too were a “green” and not a “brown”. Then I changed both my method and my carbon (brown) material.
  • instead of piling everything up and turning the whole pile at once, I piled new stuff up on one side.
  • I got a huge rubbermaid full of hardwood mulch with a big ole scoop in it.
  • I would pile in new stuff, fork old stuff over it from the other side, and cover it with a couple scoops of mulch. As soon as one side got empty and one side got full (or started to topple), I’d start over on the other side. This means that effectively I was turning the pile all the time, which is of course one of the best things you can do.

So it’s now August and I’ve had it since March, filling it all the while. Most everything in there is beautiful black dirt with some newer scraps floating around in it along with a beautiful crop of lively earthworms (that I would also chuck in whenever I’d find one in the garden). It’s about halfway full (I’ll fill it up and it’ll be sunk back down to halfway in a week or so). No more flies, no more smell, and I haven’t had to water it but once when I added a big pile of dry dirt from edging my front lawn. The closed system seems to keep itself pretty well moist enough.

So all in all – it’s worked out pretty well! Especially once it got going – it really seemed that the continual introduction of little layers of already-composted-matter worked magic. Still, it’d be nice to have two side-by-side so that I could keep filling one while I let the other one digest. Then I’ll never run into a problem like now, where I need the compost to be slimy-bits-free but have no other place to put veggie scraps.

As it is now, all those bags and bags of veggie scraps going straight into the trash hurts me in the green of my soul. -grin-

One Response to “Ouch”

  1. David in Kansas Says:

    wow! I have been catching up on my blog reading and you have been busy! Is the community you are moving to the type of community that will allow you to have bees? I live in Kansas and you’d think people around here would be more in tune with bee-keeping , or chickens but in the city that is not the case. I talked to one of my neighbors about the possibility of me keeping chickens and although she was excited, we both agreed that we share a neighbor who would probably object and cause problems (at the risk of sounding elitist, this neighbor is of the Nascar variety and none too pleasant to live around). Also, we live in a neighborhood that has some expensive homes and those neighbors may object as well to chickens in their midst. Bees are entirely out of the question with some people at our neighborhood meeting talking law suit! A kiln to fire up some pottery? Hell no! Not allowed. So at the end, I am seriously entertaining moving out to the county so I can live my Hillbilly lifestyle in peace. I sure would like to read more about your bee-keeping efforts.
    My composter –an old metal trashcan, is working well although it takes some effort to turn. I now have a plastic barrel to fashion into the next composter. I am jealous of yours though.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

:mrgreen: :neutral: :twisted: :shock: :smile: :???: :cool: :evil: :grin: :oops: :razz: :roll: :wink: :cry: :eek: :lol: :mad: :sad: