Monday, 11 May 2015

Composting, Another Good Thing

Composting suits my recycling nature.
 We do our own here which starts in the kitchen.  I have this nice little container kept under the sink  for all the table raw scraps.  I never include meat, bones, or cooked food.

 This then gets dumped into the two outdoor bins.

This is a photograph from several summers ago.  I was able to get the best soil ever from these bins.  Hubby had not bothered to clear out the soil for a number of years and it had formed itself into the best that I have ever seen.  The flower and vegetable patches benefited greatly that year.

 There is a little work to the process as most days the material in the bins must be turned with a pitch fork and also watered if the weather is dry.  Even with lots of vigilance, it takes ages for most things to completely break down and for you to see the fruits of your labour as real soil.  Corn cobs for instance are still recognizable for years.  Along with the brown (table scraps) we have to remember to include green, so we add grass clippings from time to time in the summer.

You can buy products that will speed up the decomposing process and there are lots of helpful sites around the internet.  Over at the EDEN PROJECT you can read 10 great tips on getting kitchen composting right.  I learned that you can add egg cartons or a little cardboard to the mixture.

Snakes also love to curl up inside our bins which luckily Hubby had warned me about.  One day I found the most beautiful pale lemon snake in one.  It was huge so definitely frightening but snakes don't scare me.  I have two members of the family who have real phobias about snakes; this property would not be the place for them! Snakes are spotted all over, in the garage, barn, greenhouse.  I was unable to identify that snake; Hubby thinks it was a corn snake.

And speaking of snakes...

My first snake sighting for 2015.  It is a young garter snake hanging around the last of the garage woodpile.

We've had a problem with skunks getting into the compost bins once.  Whatever had been thrown out must have had meat of some kind to attract them. They managed to make a hole in one side, dig a tunnel and drag out a lot of the material.  The next day, I wound up shovelling all the stuff back in that they had pulled out.
It is the strangest thing but I don't notice much of a smell from these bins.  Maybe because the material is not meat of any sort.  There are always lots of flies in them though.