Thursday, April 18, 2013

Composting At Home

Food is a necessity for life.  It is also a source of waste.  Can't live without it, how to live with it becomes the dilemma.  Here are a few things to do first with any non-meat scrapes:

  1. Give them to your chickens if you have them or other animal
  2. Save all your vegetable scrapes like carrot ends and peelings, broccoli stalks, onion layers...and put them in a freezer bag for making stock.
  3. Throw things like apple cores and bread ends near bird feeders

The thing you must remember with composting food is you have to mix in others things to produce good healthy soil.  Things like vegetables, fruit, egg shells, grains and coffee grounds add nitrogen but compost also needs oxygen, carbon and hydrogen.  You need a balance of all these elements.  How do you do that?  By adding dried leaves, manure, pine needles, dirt, grass clippings, newspaper and toilet paper rolls. 

Is it worth it?  Sure it is here's why:
  • Increases organic matter in your soil
  • Provides nutrients to plants
  • Makes clay soil more airy and able to drain
  • Helps sandy soil retain water
  • Helps balance pH in your soil
  • Helps maintain soil temperature

What not to compost:
  • Meat or meat waste
  • Fish or fish waste
  • Dairy products
  • Grease & oils
  • Weeds
This is what we came up with at our home.  We leave a plastic container on the counter out of the way for daily scrapes.  It does not smell because we empty it daily.  When we empty it, it goes out into a 5 gallon bucket on the back door porch where we collect it on a weekly basis. Once a week we take it out to our pallet compost bin where we are careful to remove the top layer of yard clippings before adding anything.  After adding the kitchen scrapes place paper waste on top followed by any yard clippings.  Always, always top it with yard waste or dirt. At the end of the summer or next spring add it straight into your garden and begin again. 

That is our last bucket on top which will be covered with a layer of yard waste.

Be sure to catch up on the other posts in this garden series.  Tomorrow be back for garden row spacing and how to keep weeds in check. Click on each link to see that day.

Day #1 Spring Gardening
Day #2 Tools & Planners
Day #3 Herbs for Eating, Tea & Medicine


Linked up with~
Jill's Home Remedies
Graced Simplicity
Live Called
A Delightful Home
Moms the Word


  1. I noticed that you have Fish listed not to compost. This is true but you can recycle fish or any parts of it if you garden. before you plant tomatoes put one cup of any part of fish under them. they love it. you can continue all seson but bury them around the plant. Sharon

  2. Yes I do remember the Indians taught the Pilgrim's to put a fish in when planting! Thanks for the reminder but as you said not in the compost pile. Thanks so much for your input!

  3. My friend lives on a farm and she saves all sorts of things, just as you do. It sits on her kitchen counter and I was always uncertain what to add to it and what not, lol!

    Thanks so much for linking up to "Making Your Home Sing Monday" today! :)

    1. Scraps can pile up fast especially with just the ends of veggies that you don't use, egg shells and coffee grounds. You can even add the whole tea bag if you are a tea drinker. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Great compost bin. That may be one our next projects. :)

    1. I thought so! Dalton added the door to help keep out critters.