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So tell me about composting....

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So tell me about composting....

Post  new2this on 3/20/2010, 9:01 am

I've never even tried my hand at gardening....so composting - yah, right!
At first I was scared off by the thought of the whole "process", but the more I research it, the more managable it actually sounds.

My question is...where do you composters put kitchen scraps? I mean, it doesn't make sense to run out to the compost pile to throw out leftovers everytime we eat or peel something. So how do you keep it in the house before you dump it into your pile?

Also - what about you composters who live up north? Do you just throw it on the top of the snow? Do you not even bother in the winter months?

Thanks

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Re: So tell me about composting....

Post  Daynannan on 3/20/2010, 9:11 am

I have a little bucket by the door for scraps. And I don't bother in the winter.
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Re: So tell me about composting....

Post  jerzyjen on 3/20/2010, 9:28 am

I bought a kitchen bin it sits on my counter. They sell real fancy ones with filters and everything, but i just got a fairly inexpensive one at our county's earth fair last year. You can't let stuff sit in for weeks but depending on whats in there i can usually cut my trips down to every other day or so. As long as I remember to clamp it shut tight, it doesnt smell. Having it helps because it reminds you to compost everything you can, even that one tiny tomato top that you rather walk to the trash can then go all the way to your outside pile.

If you google kitchen compost bin or something like that you will find lots of info out there.
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Re: So tell me about composting....

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/20/2010, 9:30 am

Way to go new2! A brave and bold step can lead anywhere.

@new2this wrote:My question is...where do you composters put kitchen scraps? I mean, it doesn't make sense to run out to the compost pile to throw out leftovers everytime we eat or peel something. So how do you keep it in the house before you dump it into your pile?

Do you ever watch cooking shows? Chef Ann B has a "thanks for coming bowl" Rachel Ray has a bowl too but I forget what she calls hers.

You can put it in just about anything that has a no-leak bottom this time of year. When it gets a little hotter out you will be glad to have a container with some kind of lid. Some use mini garbage cans with lids, some use bowls with lids. A good lid will keep the fruit flies out and the scent in. Currently I am using an old Tupperware square canister. I will dig out the lid before too long. I take it out to the bin when I finish the evening dishes. It is a nice time to hear bird song, say good night to the garden and give a wave to the neighbors.

In summer when I am dealing with mega abundance I have a cutting board with a removable sieve like container that sets over the sink. All the veggie junk moves to the sieve where it will be soon moved to my container. Many do include egg shells but I do not, they go to the trash with ALL meat and dairy products and left over baked things. (there are rats and raccoons in town).

[quote=”new2this”]Also - what about you composters who live up north? Do you just throw it on the top of the snow? Do you not even bother in the winter months?[/quote]

Even when I had a wire fence compost I put a garbage can lid on top in winter just so I could add to it in the snow. I was given a set of bins a couple of years ago that seem more appropriate for city life. (there is a pic of them on the link)

Deborah ….who has two dogs since this was written

http://songs-of-coming-rain.blogspot.com/2009/01/it-just-is-not-easy-to-get-dog.html
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Re: So tell me about composting....

Post  camprn on 3/20/2010, 9:46 am

I bought a small quart sized ceramic cookie jar w/ lid at TJ Maxx for $7 and that is what I put all my organic kitchen scraps into (yes to coffee grounds & egg shells no to other animal products). I tend to empty it every other day or when it gets full. If I'm cooking large, I just use a bowl and empty it when everything is cooking or as part of clean-up chores.
In winter all kitchen scraps just get tossed onto the top of the compost heap right on top of the snow. I do not cover the pile. Sometimes the squirrels will help themselves to something in there, (who knew squirrels liked avacado?) but with no animal products in the mix I rarely have trouble with skunks or coons.
When the weather improves and the snow melts, and I have enough organic material, I start a hot compost pile.


Last edited by camprn on 3/20/2010, 10:06 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: So tell me about composting....

Post  jjphoto on 3/20/2010, 9:55 am

I've tried composting two different times and never had any luck making it work. One was with a wire fence compost bin and the other time was with just a pile in the garden. I would really like to have one of those tumblers, but they're a bit pricey.
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Re: So tell me about composting....

Post  timwardell on 3/20/2010, 10:23 am

@jjphoto wrote:I've tried composting two different times and never had any luck making it work. One was with a wire fence compost bin and the other time was with just a pile in the garden. I would really like to have one of those tumblers, but they're a bit pricey.
I agree the folks who make the tumbler composters are proud of them. Nonetheless I recently purchased one. (Home Depot finally started carrying them so I didn't have to buy on off the internet and pay shipping.) I gotta' say it makes turning the pile SOOOOOOO much easier. cheers
It is closed / self-contained (has a lid that shuts). I put stuff in it all winter long (including egg shells - crushed). I have but one tree on my suburban lot and it has tiny leaves to I tend to scavenge the neighbors yards for leaves during the fall and winter to get more brown in my pile.
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Re: So tell me about composting....

Post  lrussell58 on 3/20/2010, 11:35 am

I just started composting. I had a pile of leaves sitting all winter which have started to break down. I will start the bin today with these leaves and scraps from the kitchen. I put my scraps in a bowl with lid in the fridge. I plan on taking them to pile every night. I don't want to start a problem with fruit flies. So I just take the bowl out to put scraps in. I also bought a plastic composting bin from a recycling program they have here in Charleston. But if I were to spend money again I would buy the tumbler.


Last edited by lrussell58 on 3/20/2010, 11:37 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spelling error)

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Re: So tell me about composting....

Post  new2this on 3/20/2010, 1:01 pm

Thank you all for your replies; gives me something to think about.

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Re: So tell me about composting....

Post  martha on 3/20/2010, 1:53 pm

You can be more or less particular about how to compost. Be particular = faster compost. Do it any old way = slower compost. (Of course, there are ways to ruin a compost pile, but they are the real basics, like don't add meat or grease. But if your ratios are off, etc, it will still turn in to compost - eventually!
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Re: So tell me about composting....

Post  orionsbelt on 3/20/2010, 2:30 pm

We just have a compost pile of yard waste of various types (old leaves, grass clippings, old cut flowers, plants that have been pulled up but are non-invasive, etc.) as well as certain things from the kitchen (tea bags, coffee grounds, the occasional fruit peal or egg shell).

We had a really wonderful compost bin going with a lot of vegetable scraps, but it ended up attracting a lot of rodents. This probably wouldn't have been a problem, except it was right next to the house....So now we only compost things that rodents are less likely to eat.

I don't say this to scare you off - composting is great. You just might want to consider placement and critters, and exactly what to put in your compost pile. I really would love to have one of those barrel composters, so that we wouldn't have to worry about things getting in.
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Re: So tell me about composting....

Post  jjphoto on 3/20/2010, 2:59 pm

@orionsbelt wrote:
We had a really wonderful compost bin going with a lot of vegetable scraps, but it ended up attracting a lot of rodents. This probably wouldn't have been a problem, except it was right next to the house....So now we only compost things that rodents are less likely to eat.

Now that you say that - I bet that's what brought the skunk into our yard a few years ago. We opened the door one night to let the dogs out for their bedtime potty and BAM the golden retriever got it right between the eyes right on our doorstep. It was bad enough it got him, but what was worse was that it was midsummer and our A/C was going full blast.

The system sucked in all that skunk mist and our house reeked for about a month!
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Re: So tell me about composting....

Post  ayanefan on 3/20/2010, 6:20 pm

We have a large plastic bowl on the counter next to the cutting area, it gets full by the end of the week and we just walk out and dump it in the pile. It doesn't stink unless you throw in strawberries or cantaloupe. We also throw out the scraps when company is coming so it doesn't stay long. We don't mind it. We kept throwing out this winter and I turned the compost twice. The deer come by and feast once in a while, I don't mind.
It's just something you start doing and you just keep doing it.
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Re: So tell me about composting....

Post  orionsbelt on 3/20/2010, 6:23 pm

The system sucked in all that skunk mist and our house reeked for about a month!

Oh no! That's terrible! I hope it's funny in retrospect...
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composting

Post  Celeste on 3/20/2010, 7:20 pm

This is my second season composting and it is much less involved now that I have an established pile! I was able to "harvest" a large bag (composted cow manure bag from last year) of my own compost to use this year. Very satisfying! I too keep stuff in a bowl and take it out every other evening or so. It is well worth the little bit of extra effort!
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Re: So tell me about composting....

Post  choksaw on 3/20/2010, 9:15 pm

Nice avatar celeste

composting not only gives you a re newable source for your garden but it also reduces your carbon foot print that you leave behind for future generations. the internet is a vault of information and google will become your best friend lol. heres a link for some more info on composting.

http://www.composting101.com/
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Re: So tell me about composting....

Post  timwardell on 3/20/2010, 9:26 pm

@choksaw wrote:
composting not only gives you a re newable source for your garden but it also reduces your carbon foot print that you leave behind for future generations. the internet is a vault of information and google will become your best friend lol. heres a link for some more info on composting.
http://www.composting101.com/
Great link Choksaw. Thanks for posting this.
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