Thursday, September 04, 2008
It's a Green Party!
Because inquiring minds have asked for it, here is a photo of my incredibly simple laundry-basket composter. You will recall that this plastic ready-for-the-dumpster basket has greedily consumed all our kitchen and garden scraps and trimmings all summer.
I'd tried composting before, with a commercial composting bin, but it was too large for me to handle, and it didn't work well. This system is just the right size for a two-person family. The basket already had holes in the bottom, and of course had a mesh pattern on the sides, so air access was good and any excess moisture could drain out the bottom.
I started with a layer of sticks in the bottom, added some composted manure/soil mix from a bag, spread my kitchen scraps on top and covered them with a layer of the bagged soil. After the layers built up a bit I would just pull the top layer of soil back, dump in the scraps, and scratch the soil back over them. Other than that I have watered it occasionally and put my grass clippings and garden bits on top to dehydrate a bit before covering them up. There's never been any odor. The basket sits right under my bedroom window so if it smelled I'd be the first to know about it.
The compost is now so bio-active it practically reaches up and grabs any offerings I bring. In three or four days most kitchen scraps completely disappear. It even eats corn cobs! It is black and crumbly and will be a fantastic addition to the garden next spring. Best of all it's kept all those scraps out of the garbage!