In honor of Earth Day today I will give you a glimpse into composting. This isn't a post about the many ways one can compost, or how to do it. It's more of an encouraging 'you can do it' post. Because I know you can.
At our place in California we had a large compost bin outside. We didn't need to think about it much. Between it's size and the Bay Area weather there was little to think about except to just throw in the appropriate waste in there. Currently, at our place in Colorado we are in a smaller space and we can't just let the compost live outside all year long due to freezing temperatures. What to do? Give it to the worms!
We got a worm bin, The Worm Factory by Uncle Jim's Worm Farm shortly after we moved and it didn't take long to realize they wouldn't be able to accommodate ALL of our waste. I sometimes joke that the worms live off of coffee grounds and tea leaves, and egg shells. Luckily that is some of their favorite things to get their feast on. I figured some composting is better than no composting at all. It gives us a scope of how much garbage and waste we actually do create.
Every 8 weeks or so (and I have been known to go longer), I will mix the bins up. Give the bottom layer a toss, move some of the second layer to the bottom, and top bin to the middle. This makes more room for adding the waste to the top for the worms.
In the process of moving things around you can see the new crop of worms enjoying the goods.
What I love about the worm bin is that we keep it in a closet that is adjacent to our kitchen, so I just take my paper towel of whatever I am going to feed them with and toss it in. This has eliminated our lovely compost bowl that used to sit next to the kitchen sink waiting for delivery to compost.
The other great thing is that it's a wonderful sprouting environment. Above is an avocado sprout coming from the pit. I decided to plant it. Not sure what to expect from the outcome, but it was getting too big for the compost bin.
The best part is that you get this amazing soil for gardening with. Why pay for dirt? I'm being serious. It's dirt and you can make your own lovely variety of dirt with your waste. You can even give it names too. "This is our spring collection!" Waste that we all know you are making anyway.
And in case you are thinking, "Isn't having compost in the house stinky?" The answer is no. On average the scent is that of coffee grounds only when you open the lid to add what is most likely more coffee grounds. If you do have a stink problem, something is out of balance. Find the source and it is usually an easy fix. Worms don't like onions, garlic, citrus, so that has eliminated a lot of stink sources. We also choose to not feed them dairy and meat for the same reasons.
For you artsy crafty folks if you know the sources of your materials like paper, wool yarn, and so on, that can be composted too.
Happy Earth Day!