Tuesday, June 8

a load of rubbish - composting for dummies

i know, why the heck am i dumping this post on you? i know, bit of a yawner. but it's one of those things that when you actually get around to doing it, it's surprisingly satisfying.

composting is something i've wanted to do for the longest time. i had a bit of a block about it. so much info online and yet i couldn't locate a dummies version - put this in then put that in.

with the help of some good folk online, i took the plunge. my main objective is to reduce waste. mostly kitchen waste and paper. so that's what i started with, as well as cardboard.

so on the chance there is one other person out there looking for a composting for dummies, here is mine.

a simple water butt
a large lid makes it easy to get things in and out, and to aerate with occassional turnings
a hole on the bottom lets any liquids out and worms in (worms are good)

a little soil on the bottom to help it all along

shredded paper (by hand, have no shredder)

kitchen waste, 
the smalller the pieces the quicker it'll break down, but i'm lazy, so, whatever.
dog supervisor optional

a little more soil

ratio: more paper, cardboard, and woody stemmed plants, than kitchen waste.
add a little water, or pee, yes, pee, to keep it ever so slightly moist.

we have too many seedy weeds in our garden waste to add that, so i'm hand collecting old nettles, leaving them to brown and then adding that.
i also need to drill some holes on the top to let in air.

there, easy... no excuses not to have one.


  1. awesome! we started composting a few years ago and love it!

  2. Composts are great in theory. I we ever get a bigger place I may go for one again, but I'd look after it this time. We used to have one in our old place, but it was hubby's job to add to it/ aerate it (I was not very mobile at the time), and he wasn't very interested and kept forgetting so it ended up stinking the place out. Not nice! So yes, whoever does it, has to be and stay commited.

  3. So excited about this. I am obsessed with composting. I have a worm bin and a regular pile for yard debris and the food that the worms won't eat. It's wonderful!

  4. This is the third time that composting has been in a dialogue around me...probably should give it a go. And, pee? Well, there's nothing Dylan loves more than to just drop his shorts in the freedom of peeing outdoors, so guess I have a contributor! haha!

  5. Gosh - you're far more careful about what goes in yours than we are. We don't shred the paper - just bung it in in reasonably small quantities, and if it's large (i.e. broadsheet) or cardy (i.e packaging) we rip it up a bit; we also put in all food waste which isn't chicken-eaten (though this doesn't apply now that we're henless until the garden's fixed later in the year) as the only upshot of meat or dinner leftovers is that there are more mice about (and the cats like that!). It works fine, it seems - we've emptied ours (we have four large bins, one made of old pallets and the others council-sponsored plastic versions) twice in the time we've been here (five years) and it's been excellent stuff. So very chuffing when it not only reduces waste so dramatically but also gives you something you both need and would otherwise pay for!

    In short, well done. :)

  6. Thank you Mon, i´ve been thinking about this for a long time, but haven´t decide to try it yet, but you make it look sooo easy, and my conciousness is screaming at me to start, so, yes, i will give it a try!
    Hugs and blessings :)

  7. Ours is a big ol' pile in the corner of our garden. Probably three feet across by five or six feet long. Three or so feet high, depending on if it's a weeding day, or not.
    It doesn't get babied.
    Stuff goes on the top (egg shells, watermelon rinds, whatever raw kitchen scraps come from the cutting board.
    It's not organized, and it's not turned very often.
    But when we need some deliciousness, we just turn it until we find some.
    It doesn't stink, and it has pumpkins and other stuff growing from it, too, sometimes.
    I love it.

  8. Actually, I have been in exactly the same boat! composting has been hanging out there as the next project I should initiate, but I also felt unsure where to start, so thanks. The kids will love the worm and pee, I am sure of that...

  9. Thanks for pushing me in that direction. It does look easy :)

  10. eeshk! this is totally awesome as i have also had recent adventures in composting :)

  11. hey, there i was thinking no one would give a hoot. glad it's got some of you considering it. it really is easy. and a barrel/butt makes it compact and tidy if you have a small space.

    a container like this is also great if you don't want vermin around. we have enough, including scorpions, snakes, and wild hogs, to encourage more thanks very much. :)

    earthenwitch & steph - yes, big ol' piles in the garden are great, you can really just be haphazard with them. i'm being more careful because it's a small bin.
    EW, if we encouraged mice we would encourage the snakes! but must be bliss for your cats.

  12. Excellent timing on this post - I've just been helping my parents put together a compost bin. I have been fantasizing about composting every time I threw away vegetable scraps, but I don't have a yard of my own. Not a boring post at all : )

  13. Seriously, I love composting. It's cut way down on our waste, it gives us free fertilizer, and I just love giving back to the earth.

    Our compost bin is large and rectangular. I throw produce scraps and egg shells in there, and hubby throws in the lawn clippings. I don't know where we would get soil, unless we bought it (we just have hard clay dirt in our yard).

    All I know is that the fruit flies and worms love it.

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  15. We compost too, but we're not very good with keeping up on the turning. Ours stays in our backyard, so it's funny because we keep a bowl underneath our sink where the waste just COLLECTS. I'll have to be better about it.

    The sad part is that we'll have to start all over again when we move, but that's okay.

    By the way, I contributed to the shower/bath keyhole series, but I posted way too late! I'll try to be better about it :).

  16. I like this post. When I move I'm actually going to do this. And I always look online and feel like you do, there isn't very good instructions. Thanks I will make sure to remember this post.


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