Friday, July 10, 2009

Composting stinks!

So we started composting this last year in hopes of doing some real gardening. We do have a small garden (six plants so far) and a pile of compost. We started composting really naively with a pile of leaves in the yard a few years ago. Then I read to mix in compost and manure mix from the garden center. That seemed to help break down the leaves. This year we found a little book called, appropriately, The Little Book of Compost. This book has recipes for compost and lots of help on how to do it right, including what should and should not be composted. Veggies good. Cooked food - not good. Coffee grounds - good. Meat scraps - not good. So at first we just dumped this stuff on the pile. Then came the ants and then the flies. Not so good. I got the feeling we were doing something wrong. Then some veteran composters at the shop suggested I get a bucket to dump the stuff in first and let it break down a little first. So now we have a plastic lidded trash can outside for the compost. We also have a small plastic bin on the counter for scraps when cooking or changing the coffee. That's when it started to stink. The key is, I think, to not let that little bin on the counter sit too long. Dump it more than once a week. We also bought some Bio Bag Composter bins we are going to try. They say it helps evaporate the water and keep the compost from getting sludgy and too wet. We have some in the shop now so if you want to join the experiment, just stop by and pick one up.

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