Friday, June 25, 2010

Life in the Compost Bin

Maybe I'm just easily amused but I find composting to be quite entertaining. It seems magical to be able to take things you would normally toss in the garbage, mixed them together in a pile, let it sit for a while and have it turn into a lovely soil amendment. Everyone seems to have their own style of composting. Different ratios of browns to greens, different types of heaps, bins, etc. I have worked out a very simple system that is easy and seems to be working quite well. It is suited to those of us with small yards and it doesn't smell bad. It does attract flies so I have located it in the back corner of my yard, behind some bushes so it isn't an eyesore. It takes up approximately 3' by 6' and consists of a covered black plastic compost bin and a mixing area, next to the bin, which is 2 square pieces of scrap plywood butted up against each other in a corner. The bin is where the well mixed compost material is placed and allowed to decompose. Here is the bin as it appeared earlier today, before I added to it. This material has been in there for a couple of weeks.

This is a close-up of what's growing inside the bin. Here are a couple of little mushrooms, a couple of good sized (albeit dead) slugs and an opportunistic potato. Sadly, I had spread slug poison on top of this pile, before I got the chickens. I was a bit freaked out the last time I opened the bin and saw how many large slugs were in there. I decided to sprinkle the poison and kill off the slugs before they could add to the population. Now that I know how much chickens LOVE slugs I am regretting that decision. I will wait until the poison is well buried before harvesting hen treats from the bin. Don't want to poison the girls.

And here is another bin resident who is taking full advantage of all those flies. Sorry for the poor photo and the fact this subject is being shy. You should be able to almost make out the well fed spider up near the left corner.

And here is the current batch of compostable material. It consists mainly of grass clippings, cardboard, newspaper, pine shavings, and chicken poop. There are other various and sundry compostable materials in there, as well.

The pile is big enough that I am going to mix it up, wet it down, and add it to the compost bin. Here it is all mixed, moistened and ready to go.

And here it has been added to the bin. I decided to move the cardboard triangles to the back so they'd be out of the way (more on those later. Betcha can't guess what they are for).

The mixing area is all clean and ready for me to start another batch.


krierwkrier said...

Love the blog...but what are the triangles for?

luvewe said...

I'll tell you all about those triangles in an upcoming blog post. Maybe tomorrow.