Thursday, May 17, 2012

Stoked About Compost!

I am stoked!  I am part of a group called Living On A Shoestring that meets each month to teach women in our community how to be frugal and fabulous.  Last month's gathering centered around creative gardening and we shared our gardening tips and such.  One of the ladies in the group told us about her compost trash can that she's been using for the past several months.  I fell in love with the idea!  And I'm stoked because my hubby finally (after 2 weeks) got my finished for me today!  So I've been a composting fool for the past 2 hrs in hopes to turn stuff like that below into awesomely organic potting soil/fertilizer! 


Anyhoo...here's how to can make your own!

1.  Buy a trash can that has a locking lid.  (In other words, one that won't blow away in a windstorm).  Or used one that you already have.  Or steal borrow one from your neighbor.  (My neighbor leaves theirs out by the road every Sunday night...that's how I got mine....JUST KIDDING!! lol)  Honestly, it doesn't even have to be in decent shape.  Mainly it needs to have a lids that locks on...and preferably no holes in the sides of it...although cracks on the sides would probably work.  We store both our chicken feed and pig feed in trash cans like these and one of ours had a crack in the lid that would let the rain through and turn our feed into mush.  So when I saw one advertised at our local hardware store for $9.99 I jumped on it!  And when I went to pay for it, the clerk told me that it was actually on sale for $7.99 instead!!  Woohoo!!

2.  Cut the bottom off the trash can.  I wasn't there to witness just how my hubby did this...however I did hear mention of a Saws-All possibly being used.  If you don't have one, steal borrow once from your neighbor.  Or use scissors, but you may not get it done until next year...once you recover from your carpal tunnel surgery!  The use of a knife could possibly land you with some recovery time too...so choose your method wisely! 

3.  Find a spot for your trash can to live.  As I'm writing this, I just realized that I think you are supposed to put it in a sunny spot...so the sun can heat it up and help it to decompose.  AND I put mine in a shady spot.  Oops.  (Mental note:  Move trash can and its contents to a sunny spot) 

4.  Dig into the ground a bit so your trash can will have a bit of stability.  I imagine breaking up the ground under your can will also aid in helping the worms to burrow their way up into the goodies you put into your can...which helps to break it down into compost.

5.  Go crazy filling that sucker up!  I need to do some more research on what NOT to put in the compost bin, but I know meat is a no-no.  Not sure about dairy yet...I've heard both a yes and no from fellow composters.  I know I've read somewhere that you should use a ratio of so many parts food scraps to so many parts leaves/pine needles, etc scraps...but honestly, that's too complicated for me.  So I just throw it what I've got at the time, cross my fingers and hope it works!  I have a cookie jar-turned compost jar sitting beside my sink for fruit and veggie scraps, egg shells, and tea bags for convenience.  I use it until it's full and then will take it to the trash can composter.  Mine it similar to the one below...except mine is a beautiful teal color...and doesn't have a handle, which would be very handy.  But it didn't cost me anything since it was sitting in my cupboards.  And since I'm swapping out the cookies for a walk to the compost bin, not to mention all the fruits and veggies I'll be eating in order to fill it up, I'll lose these last 25 lbs in no time!!  lol



I also will throw my weeds, grass clippings, and pine needles in there.  You can even throw your Sunday paper in there (take out the coupons beforehand of course!!)  And it doesn't have to be on Sunday...Monday thru Friday's papers work too! 


So there you go...get composting girlfriend!  I'm so excited to see how well this works and to have awesome soil next year for my hanging baskets, potted plants, or even on my garden!  Let me know if you make one and how it works for you!!

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