May 11, 2017
This is Shane & I’s homemade compost bin! A trash can with drilled holes in it. We’ve had it for years, but as it filled, it was too heavy to rotate (aka roll around on the driveway)! And then we stopped adding brown stuff, so… whew! It is an intense/ rich/ thick pile of wet stuff.
At the beginning of April, we started adding brown again though. But it’s still hard to truly mix the brown into the bottom of the muck.
So we’re saving carbon-rich brown yard leaves, torn-up brown paper grocery bags, egg cartons, & toilet paper rolls to eventually mix with this nitrogen-rich giant wad of old food we have in our compost can.
We’re either going to mix it in a fancy compost bin that we can turn easily, or build a pit topped with a raised-garden-bed-type box with cellar doors to keep out critters, or just find a spot to make a pile in the open, now that we saw how to do it at the Hollywood Orchard.
Whatever we decide to do, our layers of carbon (the brown stuff we’re hoarding) & nitrogen (the muck we have already hoarded) will be ready and abundant!
But in the meantime, we made our own worm bin! Worms don’t need brown carbon like compost does, and since we naturally have more food scraps (which fall under “green”), a worm bin makes sense for us.
LEARNED SOMETHING NEW
Because of The Compost Challenge, we realized we were throwing non-organic food in the trash and wasting it! We used to only compost foods that are organic and other things that are chemical and pesticide-free. But now we’re also starting to put non-organic food in our green bin to be composted by the city.
WHERE WE STORE OUR FOOD SCRAPS
We keep our food scraps in our refrigerator before transferring them to the compost to avoid smells or a parade of ants. We need to get better tupperware for the fridge door to keep it all easily accessible and organized (Organic/ Non-organic/ Worm Bin). We also need to find inside-the-house storage for our new habit of keeping brown paper things for the compost.
We keep the most chopped-up, less-acidic and soft organic food in a separate tupperware for the worms. They like it.
NON-FOOD COMPOSTABLE ITEMS
As for non-food items, we’ve worked up to having all natural, basically edible, shampoo, conditioner and hair gel so that we can compost our hair with our organic compost. Hair is incredibly nitrogen-rich! So are our fingernails! So I don’t use any nail polish or nail polish remover and our body soap is also all-natural ingredients. So we can organic-compost our fingernails too! Fun fact: There are companies who even make hair-mats that cover the base of plants to keep moisture in and add nutrients!
BEAUTY IN THE GROSS
I’m madly in love with the fact that what our body exhales (carbon dioxide) and sheds (nitrogen in the form of hair and nails) naturally feeds the plants and trees around us, and what the plants and trees exhale (oxygen) and shed (fruits & veggies) naturally feed us. How magical. (I even love mites- because they are eating our dead skin!) Imagining a world without this cycle of togetherness leaves me thinking of gross piles of hair and fingernails with nowhere to go! But in reality, the cycle we have is amazing! I naturally have no excess, because it all has a place that helps the world in some way… Even the “gross” stuff becomes beautiful!