Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Molly Makes {Dirt}

I'd like introduce you to the newest member of my family.  This is Bob, my compost bin.



He's like a big, plastic member of the family.  He enjoys lazy afternoons in the shade of the defunct apple tree and turning garbage into food.  Originally Bob was a couple of plastic storage bins under the deck,



but we upgraded him when we found Bob 2.0 at a tag sale for $30 bucks (most composters hover around the $100 + range and it was high on my Christmas List).

Starting a compost pile is relatively easy.  Collect stuff, let it rot, feed it to plants.  Of course there are many ways to go about it - compost bins, vermicompost, compost tea, but the end result is great - fewer bags going to the landfill and readily available nutrients for your garden - veggie or flower!

Things that Bob likes to eat include -

  • Small sticks and twigs

  • Dead Leaves

  • Weeds from the garden

  • Veggies Scraps from the kitchen

  • Egg Shells

  • Basic paper, cardboard and egg crates (except for egg crates I try not to put any paper in that I can't verify the type of ink used)

  • Grass Clippings - great for compost as they decompose quickly

  • Cotton dishrags that are past their prime - I went thru a stack of old towels and dishrags that were old, full of holes or to scratching to be chosen post-bath and ripped them up and fed them to Bob last week!


Things I need to remember Bob can eat -

  • Coffee grounds and Tea bags

  • Plainly cooked pasta & rice

  • Stale (not moldy!) breads, crackers, etc.

  • Old herbs and spices

  • Spent Toilet Paper rolls

  • Animal Fur

  • Freezer burned fruits and veggies


More lists can be found Here, and Here

One thing I haven't seen on any lists are crafting waste - I'm assuming if I have thread/yarn/etc. leftover that are 100% wool, cotton or other natural fiber Bob would be happy to munch on them!

I swear we put at least one bag less of garbage in the garbage bin each week just by composting the basics and with the amount of "waste" Henry produces each week one less bag makes me happy.  Once the garage gets a good clean out this summer I hope to kick my recycling habits back into high gear and really make an impact on how much landfill garbage we put on the curb each week.

Does anyone have advice for composting dairy products like expired yogurt and moldy cheese - I'd like to add this to my pile but am worried about encouraging molds to to spread or insects to multiply.  Any advice?

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