I am now a composter. Here is my fledgling pile:
It doesn’t look like much yet but it will soon be a mountain of decomposing matter, which sounds gross but will be awesome. I need to get some stakes and wire and build a taller structure for maximum heat inducing pileage.
Week 1-3 additions:
- Grass clippings
- Tea bags
- Banana peels and rotten bananas
- Onion cast-offs
- Dryer lint (Yes, you can compost dryer lint! They do say it should come from natural materials, though, not synthetics. I find that amusing. As amusing as the caveat that hair is exceptionally beneficial to a compost pile but it should not be color treated.)
- Potato: I found one random potato on the back lawn after returning home from vacation. I queried my house sitter Lizzie via text, who replied, “Someone at the rave must have brought it as a snack.” God I love her.
- Old produce from the fridge, including blueberries, lettuce, bell peppers, and green onions.
I am doing it all wrong, of course, the composting. When you start, you are supposed to layer brown matter, green matter, brown matter, and so on. For a definition of brown matter vs. green matter and more information about composting check out these sites:
I don’t have much brown matter so it is pretty much all green at this point, but I am not concerned. My mom has had a compost pile for years and she just throws things out there willy-nilly. Even if you only turn it maybe twice a year, it does break down into lovely compost eventually. Turning if more frequently and having the right proportion of green (nitrogen) to brown (carbon) ingredients just speeds up the process (and keeps the pile from getting too smelly.)
The photo above was at Week 1. Here it is at Week 3:
Notice it is slightly smaller than Week 1, yet includes 2 additional weeks of lawn clippings, leaves, and a plethora of kitchen waste. I have been turning it frequently to keep it from getting anaerobic and smelly so it is coming along nicely. I included the grapefruit in the shot since they are left over from last year and will soon be chopped up and added to the pile. I noticed new green ones on the tree and realized I never picked last year’s. Oops. I find grapefruit disgusting but the tree came with the house so what’s a girl to do?
When I had so much fun turning my sister’s huge compost pile with a tractor, she told me it was fun for her the first 10 times, too, then it became a chore. I am sure that is coming for me with putting on my plastic garden clogs and turning the pile with a hay fork, but so far I am still having fun with composting.