My neighbor stopped by with a gift. Upon examination, it was a sack of grass clippings, a side of watermelon rinds and a couple apple cores. Odd? Maybe but absolutely appreciated. She was making a contribution to our compost pile.
We began composting a few years back. It’s an excellent way for us to live a little greener since 95% of what we throw into the compost is stuff that we previously ground up in our garbage disposal. It also adds value to my “hit or miss” gardening style as the soil in our yard has a lot of caliche and needs to be improved in order to grow herbs and vegetables.
Composting is a cycle of life activity. It allows kitchen, office, yard and garden waste to decompose and be reborn as a nutritious enrichment for the garden, lawn, or indoor plants. There is a wide range of materials that you can use for composting such as grass clippings, weeds, leaves, shredded paper and some kitchen scraps. I even throw in unbleached cardboard roles from toilet paper. For a really extensive list of what can be composted, check out this post at little urban farm. And you can ask others to save compostables for you like stopping by your local coffee shop for a bag of grounds. They’re usually very happy to give them away.
Our process is really simple. I keep a bucket under the sink in our kitchen where it’s super convenient to throw fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, tea bags, eggshells and other compostables. I don’t include any meat or dairy products and without these, there is never an odor. When full, one of us dumps it in our bin. Ours is a simple garden box that I water down and toss with a pitch fork weekly.
In a house of boys, the fun begins when the decomposing starts and you feel the temperature rise and find interesting worm creatures making their home. And suddenly, behaviors are altered as I find myself sacking an apple core at the office for compost placement when I get home. If we didn’t have our own compost, our CSA will pick up table scraps weekly to use at the farm. There are even some communities that will actually pick up compostables as well.
With fall settling in and cooler temperatures causing leaves to turn and fill our paths, it’s a perfect time to consider composting. Once you take the first couple of steps, it can become a part of your better living routine.
What sort of autumn changes are occurring in your household?
- 1 lb cooked pasta (soba or spaghetti are good choices)
- 3 slices of bacon or pancetta – optional
- 1 bunch of roughly chopped mizuna
- 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 small yellow or red onion, diced
- 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste