Composting

It is sad to say that in my life, I have never before composted at home. It seems like a pretty simple task, with too many benefits to count (to the garden and to the waste stream), but the stars just haven’t aligned for me…until now!

Kitchen compost scraps

Kitchen compost scraps in the pail we got for Christmas! I since learned there is a debate amongst composters about composting lemon peels. Anyone have an opinion?

Between the kitchen compost pail that was a Christmas gift from my dad and stepmom, and the finished compost bin and lid built by my handy husband, all signs were pointing to Compostville. So, I began to fill up the pail with veggie rinds, coffee grounds, etc. Meanwhile, as the weather has warmed up, we’ve been out in the yard more! I’ve tried to layer last fall’s leaves that are still scattered around the yard, and clumps of grass pulled up from around the flower garden (more on this later) into the bin in consecutive layers.

Compost heap - March

Leaves and grass clumps form layers in the compost bin.

Every once in a while, a pail from the kitchen goes in.

Now I’m reading articles like this one about what the deal is with turning compost. It seems pretty simple – basically the garden equivalent of a recipe instructing you to “stir.” I will be trying this out with a pitchfork this weekend and hoping anaerobic decomposition has not already begun to create unpleasant smells.

I can’t wait to have beautiful, homemade compost to enrich our soil very soon! In the meantime, the compost we purchased last week has been distributed among three raised garden beds, a mere 6 to 8 backbreaking hours of shoveling later.

Raised bed filled 2015

Lovely local compost, delivered and, many hours later, distributed into our raised beds.

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