Tag Archives: black gold

From Garbage to Garden

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We have chosen to have a 100% organic garden without the use of fertilizers so composting is our natural alternative. Although it can take some time, it is one of the most nutrient rich ways to cultivate your garden. You can start to compost in the kitchen by saving common kitchen scraps. You are making healthy compost and reducing your waste at the same time. It’s a win win.

In the winter months, when there is no produce to harvest, we buy organic lettuce from the store. An organic spring mix (pic above) normally comes in a plastic bag inside of a plastic box. Once you take out the lettuce, this box becomes the perfect spot to store your kitchen compost scraps. I normally go through one box of lettuce a week during the colder months and stockpile the containers for when our current one gets gross. I keep this under the kitchen sink or on a shelf in the pantry until it is full and ready to be emptied (usually twice a week).

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Common kitchen scraps you can use for compost (cutting/crushing first will help them to breakdown faster):

  • All your vegetable and fruit waste, (including rinds and cores) even if they are gross and moldy. Corn cobs and husks. All leftover pulp from juicing.
  • Coffee grinds, tea bags and paper filters
  • Egg shells, crushed well
  • Most anything made with flour. Stale bread, cookies, crackers, pasta as long as they haven’t been mixed with meat, oils or dairy.

Things to leave out:

  • Meat, fish and bones
  • Dairy
  • Oils

Homemade Compost Bins

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You can buy compost bins from your local home improvement store. They range in cost from $50-$300. Or you can build them and they’re completely free…woohoo! This is the first of many things Greg made from used palettes. Most commercial businesses will have a pile of these every week after receiving deliveries. They may keep a few, but the majority get thrown away. All we do is ask and most times they are happy that we are helping them get rid of their garbage.

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To make this bin he took three standard palettes and assembled them in a “U” shape using standard screws.  The slots that are already built in to the palettes are perfect for holding the rake you’ll need to turn your compost.

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The pic above shows two bins side by side.  We started with one and now we have four across. Greg will keep one bin empty to make it easier to rotate the compost from one bin to another. If you don’t have the space for that many bins, you can simply use one and rotate the soil within the bin.

We initially set these up in the far corner of the yard thinking that when the temperature rose we would smell anything that may be “composting”. It turns out the slots in the palette provide good enough air flow to allow the compost to properly decompose.