Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Turn Your Scraps Into Black Gold-Compost!!

It has been many a moon since I posted last.It seems like life got in the way,and that happens to us all.

However,I am back,and am going to chat about one of my loves-compost!

If you garden,compost is your best friend. It's even better when you create it with items from your yard,your kitchen,and the poo from from some farm animals. It saves lots of money-you don't have to buy it,and,depending on the size of your garden,that can get mighty expensive. Who needs that?

Our compost pile started with a huge pile of leaves and pine needles that we raked up. When we got chickens,their poo and straw were added. Then,we started adding kitchen scraps. We went from one pile to this:

Pile to the left is pure composted soil. The other two are in the process of being broken down. We now actually have one more section that we have added for soil,and of course,we now have sheep poo to add to the mix.

Composting kitchen scraps is very easy,and you would be surprised at what you can compost. At first,we used a 5 gallon bucket,but it start smelling after a bit. We then went to a counter top container:

 This is a one gallon container that has a filter in the lid to help keep unwanted odors at bay. Some of the items that you can compost from the kitchen are:
-egg shells
-coffee grounds
-veggie and fruit scraps
-paper towel and toilet paper cardboard rolls(ripped up)
-used paper towels (nothing with a cleaner on them,and you have to rip them up)
-dryer lint
-tea leaves

Of course,being in a one gallon container,it will have to be emptied on a regular basis.

Outdoor items to compost:
-Leaves,pine needles
-grass clippings
-plants from your garden
-farm animal poo ( bear in mind that how long the poo needs to compost depends on the animal. You need to read up what animal you have. Sheep,goats,and chickens don't take long to break down).

You pile all this together,and turn it on occasion. We started using a shovel,but our piles got so big that Rick now uses his tractor. If you see steam rising from the pile when you turn it,that is a good thing-it means that everything is working and breaking down. The first time Rick saw the steam,he didn't know what it meant-he thought it was going to combust!

After a few months,you will get lovely soil. It's even better if you see worms all through it-that means it's perfect!! We do still sift our soil,because sometimes something will get in there that doesn't belong. However,the soil is black gold goodness!!

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