Every year I think, "Gee, it would be nice to have some homemade compost to put in with my plants." And every year it gets put off until later. At first we were waiting to be settled into a permanent house. Then, we were waiting to build our own compost boxes. I've saved scraps from the kitchen for OTHER people who had compost bins. And for the last few months I've saved scraps for us. I thought maybe it would force us to really get our compost pile going this time. I picked a spot in the yard and just made a pile of stuff, adding to it every few days. I guess it worked. Yesterday, my husband came home with this:
Now, it isn't the DIY version of a compost box/pile that I had envisioned us having. But I'm not complaining. FINALLY I will be able to turn my pile of scraps into something useable. (And it's much easier to mix up than a box/pile that you have to turn by hand with a pitchfork).
Here's a little side note about this compost bin. It took FOREVER to put together. It comes in a million pieces with wordless instructions that use vague drawings to tell you what to do. Now, my husband is one of those "I don't need to read the instructions" kid of guys. He's very handy with tools and is very good at figuring things out. Me? I'm the complete opposite. I'm handy with tools, but I ALWAYS follow the directions. Word for word. (Or in this case, picture for picture). He got going right away, jumping ahead as usual. We started butting heads about what to do next. He probably could have gotten it together without the directions, but there would have been a lot of colorful language and possible breakage of tools and/or parts. (Ha ha). After a TON of home improvement projects together, we have figured out a way to work together that makes us both feel useful. So I offer this bit of advice, in case you have a similar differences of personality with your spouse.......... I read the directions a step ahead and get all the parts, hardware, and tools needed. Then I tell him where they go and he puts it together. I get to read the directions and know that all the pieces are used in the right places, and he gets to NOT read the direction and do the actual putting together. It works for us.
Now it's time to watch my instructional video on "How to Compost" that came with the unit. I kinda already know what to do. But you know me. I've got to read (watch) the directions anyway. Who knows? Maybe I'll learn something new. Now LET'S GET COMPOSTING!
Here is a list of what to compost. There are people out there who add other things to their piles (like cooked pasta, milk products, and urine). I've done a little research about what the "ingredients" do to the compost and have decided NOT to use certain items. So this is MY list of what I will be adding to my bin.
COFFEE GROUNDS (AND FILTERS)
PAPER TOWELS AND PAPER NAPKINS
PAPER BAGS (RIPPED UP.... GOOD IN PLACE OF LEAVE DURING SUMMER MONTHS)
NUT SHELLS (**NOT** WALNUT BECAUSE THEY CONTAIN POISONOUS CHEMICALS)
PAPER EGG CARTONS (RIPPED UP)
SHREDDED PAPER (OLD BILLS, ETC.)
ASHES (NOT FROM CHARCOAL)
CHICKEN MANURE (AND WOOD SHAVINGS FROM COOP)
VEGETABLE AND FRUIT SCRAPS (NO CITRUS)
I'm sure that I forgot a few things, but this covers most of the things that I use daily that can be added to the bin.