Compost for the lazy

My husband made me a little enclosure last year when I started the garden so that I could compost. It’s chicken wire all around held up by scrap wood. It’s literally just a big pile of kitchen scraps and some newspaper. No diary or meat, but all of the apple cores, and lettuce cores, and coffee grounds in their filters got thrown into a little trash can (with compostable liner so it doesn’t get too gross) on the counter then emptied onto the pile. We put some grass clippings in there, some dried stalks of last year’s broccoli that I missed cleaning out of the garden. When it was time to get the garden boxes ready for spring planting, I just scraped the top layer of scraps away and found rich, moist, black dirt underneath. I haven’t turned the pile or anything in months, I just let it get snowed on and rained on and all the rest. Just don’t throw failed seeds in there. I found that out last year when I tossed the pots of dirt with seed that had failed to sprout into the compost pile. I ended up with about 8 zucchini plants growing in my compost. And they were hardy as all get out – I’d pull them and they’d come back if there was even a little bit left in the ground.

I am the laziest composter imaginable, but time is the only thing that is really needed. Everything will deteriorate given enough time. Worms have gravitated to my pile so that I have a nice supply of them. Some got transferred to the garden, but some I re-homed back into the pile.

We create a lot of kitchen scraps because we eat a lot of veggies in our house. Stalks and peelings and such go in the compost bin. I know we could make vegetable stock out of them, but we just don’t use the stuff. We’re not big on soups, either. So, out it goes. I have seen pretty tumbling barrels and homemade turning composters. Those are good for people who remember to do that sort of thing. I have an open scrap pile in my backyard. I don’t care how it looks, and I am ecstatic that it supplies me with rich, nutrient-dense dirt for my garden. It’s in an area of the yard that we don’t really use at all, so it’s not in the way of anything. That space would go to waste otherwise.

I am a testament to the idea that anyone can compostThe turning barrels are great if you’re dedicated, or limited on space, they can sit on a small patio even. They can supply dirt for your container garden. Or, if you have some room, you can just fence off an area so the animals don’t get to it, and start throwing stuff in a pile. Eventually you’ll have dirt. And many things are compostable. Dryer lint from cotton clothing. Hair (if you want to – I don’t). They make paper plates and bags that are compostable. It’s pretty cool.

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