A Vow To Compost

Welcome to the January 2013 Natural Living Blog Carnival: Green Confessions.
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Natural Living Blog Carnival hosted by Happy Mothering and The Pistachio Project through the Green Moms Network. This month our members have written posts about areas of their life where they aren’t as “green” as they may want to be.

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Tiger worms (7 of 7)

Photo by Timothy Musson

Often when we have friends over, they will ask if we have a compost bin. I sadly shake my head, chagrined. While we have had compost piles in the past, basically just piles where we dump our food scraps at the back of our property, we haven’t ever had a true compost pile. It’s not that we disagree with composting or think it is too much work, it just hasn’t ever been a priority.

A couple of years ago, when on vacation in Chicago, our apartment was equipped with a little kitchen counter compost bin. I loved it. All of our banana peals and egg shells went in. I mentally did a little happy dance when I had some scraps to put in after each meal. I just haven’t done the same at home, mainly due to the mentality that we are moving soon. However, the move hasn’t happened yet, and neither has real composting. So, I’m changing that. Sure, we may end up moving, but so be it. We’ll start again.

We have plans for two composting systems, neither of which will cost much. We have a smaller plastic trash can without a lid that has no other purpose at the moment. It was previously in the garage holding hockey sticks, but no that we are parking the van in the garage, my mudroom is non-existent. I plan to drill holes in the bottom and place it out in the backyard.

Secondly, the kids and I are planning to build a worm bin. We are actually excited about having worms. I’m still looking into what size worm bin we want to have and where we will store it. However, sometime soon, when someone asks if we have a compost bin, the answer will be a resounding, “Yes!”

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10 thoughts on “A Vow To Compost

  1. We had a worm composting bin, and I kept forgetting to feed the worms.. I love the idea, but the bin had to be far away from the house due to the flies. I may need to just suck it up and get back to it. I do think I could do like a natural pile outside as we have a large property.

  2. My dad, an environmental engineer, always kept a compost bin. It became the biology / chemistry lesson each week when we went to turn it over. In high school I worked as as a barista and would bring the coffee grounds home (my coffee shop didn’t even recycle, let alone compost!) and lets just say that the coffee grounds put those poor worms into overdrive! Each shift I’d bring home roughly 5 lbs of grounds..We eventually had to stop composting the coffee grounds because the worms multiplied way too much ;)

    I have also seen compost barrels, which looks like a steel drum on it’s side with a handle and you turn it rotisserie style. It makes for less mess and quicker results.

  3. Great plan, good luck with your worms! My dad made us a worm bin out of two plastic storage bins. The top one has holes in its bottom and holes in its cover (lined with mosquito netting). That gets filled with peat moss, worms and vegetable scraps, and put on top of some bricks inside the second bin. The bottom bin has a single hole with a rubber stopper, through which we draw the worm “tea”. It stands outside in a shady spot in the warm months, and goes inside for winter. Worms are fast composters: you can’t recognise any peels within two weeks. I’ve had the same colony for fifteen years.

  4. You must have some seriously hippie friends! I don’t think anyone has ever asked me if I have a compost bin! I used to collect my veggie scraps and take them to my manager at work because she has one. Now that we’re settled into our new place (I totally get wanting to wait and we didn’t have the space at all before), I’m thrilled to be getting started on our own compost bin!

    I’ve been filling up my freezer for a couple of weeks, waiting to be ready. Yesterday I bought a new trash bin (made of mostly recycled materials) and today I got the holes drilled on the bottom and sides. Tomorrow I’m hoping to get a bag of leaves because I have nothing “brown” for my compost.

  5. It’ll be so cool when you have your composting systems! We live in a tiny apartment in a city, and I can’t wait until the day when we have our own house WITH PROPERTY. I want a garden, chickens, a goat, etc. In the meantime, my food scraps go in the trash. :(

  6. We don’t have a compost bin either. I have cinder blocks arranged to create bins against a cinder block wall. We dump kitchen scraps in there, along with yard waste. Works for us! I keep a plastic container on the counter for collecting the kitchen scraps.

    I haven’t tried the worm bin yet.