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shazam shazam is offline
 
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Does anyone compost?
Old 01-24-2013, 09:12 AM
  #1

Just curious. Am planning to try to grow some veggies this year since last year I was actually successful with herbs. I keep seeing lots of info about composting and am thinking of trying it. But I'm not sure where to start. Any tools or tricks of the trade I need to know? Would love to know any basics. Thanks!


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Old 01-24-2013, 09:31 AM
  #2

I have been composting for about 6 years. It is amazing how little trash I have every week. Probably about one small bag.
All because I compost all my food that is plant-based.

This is what I do:
•I have a large pan with lid in my kitchen. I use one of those cheap white pasta cookers.
•Special composting bin in my side yard.

All scraps (no meat/cheese/dairy/lard, fats, etc.) go into the large pan. When it is full (it takes me about 2 days to fill it), I dump it into the composting bin. I also throw shredded paper, napkins, dry leaves into the bin outside.

The trick with the compost bin is to keep it at the correct moisture level. It can't be too dry or too wet. This was something I had to experiment with. Best thing is to layer, so start with a layer of dry leaves/shredded paper, then add scraps of vegetables, layer with dry leaves, and so on. Occasionally stir the mess with a special tool that mixes it all.
It usually takes 5-6 months for my bin to produce perfect soil for my garden. I now have two bins.

There are different ways of composting. I have never tried worm composting. A friend has a small worm bin in her kitchen, and although it seems to be very clean and does not smell, I don't think I'd be happy with that in the house.

Last edited by cvt; 01-24-2013 at 08:11 PM.. Reason: wanted to add some information
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:04 PM
  #3

Our town has compost pick up each week. We have a small bin in the kitchen and empty it too the larger bin for the curb. The only food I can't put in is raw meat.
In the summer we have a compost in our yard but , even when we are very careful what we put in, it still attracts bears and raccoons.
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:39 PM
  #4

I compost. DH gets a little when I toss things under the bush next to the door.
But by spring, there isn't anything left!

I was always told never to put any fats.
http://ccetompkins.org/sites/all/fil...d%20Scraps.pdf
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:30 PM
  #5

I have tried composting & have a plastic tub with a lid in the kitchen. But I have a terrible time with fruit flies. When I open the lid of the tub, dozens of fruit flies swarm out! Is there a trick to keeping the flies away? I empty it every day but honestly I stopped composting a few months ago because of the nasty fly infestation.


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fruit flies
Old 01-24-2013, 05:23 PM
  #6

If you have fruit flies, it is an indication you have kept it in the kitchen too long . Time to dump it into the compost bin outside. I hardly ever get fruit flies because I usually toss the contents of the kitchen pot into the outside bin every other day.

I notice it is mostly fruit that has the flies--I guess that's why they call them fruit flies. So maybe you should just toss the fruit directly into the outside bin. The bins outside do get lots of fruit flies and ants, but that is the natural process. It is far enough from the house that it doesn't affect us at all.

Quote:
it still attracts bears and raccoons.
We don't have bears here, but there are raccoons. The bins can be locked, and it is difficult to open for them like those caps on medicine containers. For a while we had critters digging their way underneath the bins, but we solved it by putting mash under the bins.
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:45 PM
  #7

Have you ever had any trouble with rats?
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composting
Old 01-24-2013, 06:19 PM
  #8

Wow, thank you for the information! I am excited to get started. I have a room full of oatmeal canisters that I knew I was saving for something! For now, to see how it goes, I'm going to use those to keep the scraps, and probably take them outside nightly. (I already filled one almost to the top just today!)

I was thinking of doing a small area in my yard, not in a compost bin. I'm planning to section it off with wood planks. Do you think that will work? A small rectangle of soil, just dump it in, and mix it up. I want to see how well I keep up with it before I purchase or make a big compost bin. This is my trial run, I guess.

CVT, I will try to remember that about the moisture if I start a bin.

There are no bears here. I'm not too worried about raccoons. I've never seen a rat, and the only mouse I've seen is a dead "gift" one of my cats brought. I'm not worried about insects either, they don't bug me, ha ha, because they'll be far enough away from where we really go in our yard, I'm thinking.

That is pretty cool that some towns have composting! Just curious, what do they do with the compost they collect? The county next to mine doesn't even have recycling, so I think we're a long way from that here.
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:16 PM
  #9

Quote:
Have you ever had any trouble with rats?
Yeah, that was one of the critters. I live right next to a wilderness preserve, and there are roof rats and mice, ground squirrels and who knows what else. Let's just say that the rattlesnakes and coyotes aren't wanting for food .
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:22 PM
  #10

Quote:
I was thinking of doing a small area in my yard, not in a compost bin. I'm planning to section it off with wood planks.
Yes, I'm sure it will work. Some people around here just have make a circular enclosure with chicken wire, and throw everything in there. Others just have a pile somewhere in a corner by their stone wall or fence. Those will definitely attract all kinds of animals.

My city is trying to get more people to compost, so they contract with some outfits to sell compost bins at a sharply reduced cost. That's how I was able to start. Mine cost $20. It helps the city reduce its landfill, and by recycling kitchen waste back into the garden, it makes the soil better. So everyone wins.


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Old 01-24-2013, 09:10 PM
  #11

Goodness! Not my type to do such things!!! Im too particular...
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