Eating fresh from the garden fills at least three large ex-pretzel tubs a week with kitchen scraps. The plastic containers work great – made of clear plastic so you can see how full it’s getting. If it looks like a weird science experiment – take it out of the house before it explodes. The lid keeps the smell locked away.
Veggie skins, ends and overripe remains are a great source of nitrogen. They can feed your vermicomposting pets (earthworms), become chicken snacks, or get buried in the garden for a microbes’ feast.
Jane dumps her scraps into a black compost bin that sits on a stand. Add leaves (browns), and water, and scraps (greens) and give it a spin or two or three. Then again, when you pass by, at least every other day.
When it’s time to dump the scraps as seen in this video, Jane hesitates a moment before opening the lid. Will there be hideous oozing goo, or insect-infested foliage, or skunk-like fumes?
It is never so dramatic – there are only wet leaves with hardly a trace of its last feeding. It’s nothing short of a miracle that the scraps from a few days ago have disappeared.
A not-so-terrible earthy smell greets your nose after opening the bin. The leaves are hungry for your next batch of cabbage cores, and cucumber skins and carrot ends.
Over a period of weeks the change in the bin is subtle – the leaves lose their definition. At this point stop adding material, keep the pile moist, and continue to give the bin a spin a day to complete the composting process.
Jane doesn’t wait for the entire compost process to finish inside the black bin. She dumps the almost-composted material to the larger compost pile nearby, adding to its bio-mass.
With the black compost bin empty, it will get filled with leafmold and then with next week’s kitchen scraps. The cycle begins again.