Sunday, June 20, 2010

Fresh From Sifting Compost

And not the most flattering of double chins. I had no idea I had dirt on my nose, chin, neck, forehead and I have a picture of my dirty unattractive feet which I am saving for a winter post. Lord I need to be on a stricter diet!!! And my ears are enormous.

I shoveled and sifted three and a half big containers of lovely, lovely black gold out of my compost bins. G had to bag the grass clippings when he finally got to cut the grass today and I wanted to layer the fresh grass with the uncomposted stuff so I had to get moving. All the veg got a few handfuls of compost. And I shook the container over the chard and kale giving them a good sprinkle also.

Really, I can't describe how lovely that compost felt. Light, fluffy and rich in minerals and microbes and worms. The second compost bin now has the uncomposted stuff from bin one, mixed with fresh grass and the siftings of the compost. Sticks, rocks, and one coffee spoon. I was hoping the lost fork was in there, but no such luck. We take all that stinking, rotten veg, coffee and other stuff and let it sit in the bin with yard clippings and "stuff" and we get this earthy, clean, good smelling compost. It's a miracle. And it's been a good, long time since I sifted compost. Like two years.

G and I fill the little yellow compost pail once or twice a week depending on how much veg we peel and eat. Potato peels, apple peels. lettuce cores and bad leaves, banana peels, daily coffee grounds, spent flowers (usually roses), and I should remember to pour yogurt whey in the bucket. If we ate real eggs, there would be egg shells. We eat Egg beaters. I also pour the crumbs at the bottom of my cereal box into the compost container. I add used kleenex, paper towels, shredded junk mail, tea bags. Thin cardboard can also go in if you tear it into little pieces. It's all good. I'd love to convert everyone of you to making a compost bin and filling it with stuff you would normally send to the land fill. Maple leaves and grass clippings alone make a fantastic compost over the winter. Adding vegetable scraps and coffee grounds makes it even better. No meat. No fat (grease or oil). And salad doesn't mean leftover tuna salad.

Summer is a wonderful time to start as we are all eating corn on the cob, watermelon, salads, fruit. Making iced tea with 6 to 8 tea bags each time. Lots and lots of "garbage" can be moved directly to the compost pile. And in the fall when you clean up the flower gardens--all the clippings go right into the compost also! But NO weeds.

My household garbage bag contains styrofoam,used plastic bags, meat trimmings, dog hair and lint from the vacuum and we usually put a bag out every three or four weeks.

Clean plastic bags are folded and knotted for use when walking the dog. My recycle container is filled with thin cardboard boxes,cereal boxes (when I don't need them for cutworm collars on new plants) newspaper, yogurt containers, mail, magazines, catalogs, cans and glass jars. I could layer all the newspaper, magazines and catalogs in the garden and let them compost naturally but G doesn't like the way that looks. I had planned to try and layer the newspapers into the compost bins as a trial. I should have done that today. Darn.

G is ready for his ice cream so I'd best sign off and go eat some ice cream (as if I wasn't fat enough already!). Happy Father's Day.


Terry said...

Lordy, we even look kind of alike. The chin especially! I think we could convince people we were sisters at the least, though I am much whiter-haired and will be assumed to be the older sister. Ahem.

We do the compost thing and have two bins out back. Ray has discovered that Starbucks will give you huge bags of used coffee grounds, which he hauls home and mixes in. We are reducing our lawn grass little by little, with layers of newspaper covered with organic mulch. If you do it this way the newspaper is not visible, but does a super job of eliminating the grass with no digging or poisoning. I had an elderly neighbor who always mulched her garden with newspaper. She said the weeds "succumbed to the weight of public opinion."

dee said...

OMG you really made Roger & I think about his Dad. He did all the things you describe and we still have the compost pile up on the hill. Years ago, before paper shredders & when he retired from engineering, he bought a paper cutter with which he chopped all the cardboard from things like cereal boxes into tiny little squares and put them in empty 50 lb birdseed bags. When the bag was full, he would go up on the hill above our house in the woods and sprinkled out the paper on the ground so it often looked like it snowed in July. He was an interesting man with many ideas way ahead of the so called green movement. He's really missed a lot.

Life Scraps and Patches said...

Can't wait to get going with compost, but this year I need to replace my rain barrel. I forgot to drain it in the fall and it split. Next year I'll get a nice little composter, just right for one person. For now, I put a few things on a pile, hidden from the neighbors, but it doesn't get enough sun.

Diane N said...

Your ears are not enormous but your comment about them made me laugh.

How do you keep the critters out of the compost? Raccoons are a huge problem here.

Deborah Boschert said...

You read my mind. I have seriously been planning to start composting when we move. Do I need an actual official compost container? I'm also thinking of joining a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture, I think). You buy a "share" and get a box each week of whatever is in season from a small local farm.

Carolyn aka Silkquilter said...

Cute Pic. I didn't even notice the chin, just the compost on the nose. I look like that when I crawl out from under a truck. Or compost, or cleaning the shop.... or... or.. LOL