Saturday, 11 May 2013
For three years now I've been feeding my compost bins almost daily. They have taken the waste sawdust and manure from the chicken house, the contents of the vacuum cleaner, thousands of old tea bags and coffee grinds, vegetable and fruit peelings, all of our grass cuttings, the non shiny Christmas wrapping paper ripped into tiny pieces, nettles and comfrey leaves*, crushed egg shells and I sometimes add egg boxes or cardboard loo rolls broken up if the mixture is too wet. I have turned them a few times, if I'd turned them more often they'd have broken down more quickly but I've primarily turned them to deter rats from nesting.
The bins are warm to the touch in winter as the nitrogen releases from the rotting vegetation and the thousands of worms and mini-beasts work their magic to produce a sweet smelling, crumbly compost ready for the boys to plant vegetables in their raised-bed.
My compost bins were really cheap and bought from the local council when they were promoting composting a few years back, they're not pretty and resemble big black dalek's! You can get much more attractive versions if you want to spend more money. But tucked in a corner of the garden they do no harm, and it's estimated by composting I'm saving 40% of my household waste from going into landfill, which has go to be worthwhile. And if that wasn't enough for a clear conscience, making your own compost is helping the environment too, as most compost on sale is made with peat and peat bogs are one the UK's most threatened habitats.
Tomorrow if the sun shines we'll plant out the first of our plants we've grown from seed; courgette, pea and pumpkin.
*you can make organic liquid fertiliser from nettle and comfrey leaves too.