Wednesday, May 7, 2008

International Compost Awareness Week

As many of you know, I am dedicated to composting. I love compost. I like it when things rot. This week is International Compost Awareness Week. Here is the link for information and the Composting Council website.

In the past I have made cold compost, which breaks down in its' own sweet time and container composted when I lived in an apartment. Now I have three different composting situations going on. There is the worm bin. The worms are feed vegetable food scraps, egg shells, coffee grounds, and tea bags. The bin is a bottomless wooden box sitting on the ground by the rabbit hutch. The worms and worm compost are covered with a layer of my shredded bills. I love feeding my worms our bills.

I also have a regular compost pile. This is were I wage my war trying to create hot compost. I have not been able to heat up this pile over 105 since I started this blog. Therefore, it must be the blogs fault. As of right now, it is 100 degrees. I want it to be 120. That compost pile gets weeds, pasta, rice, moldy bread, bunny poo, and vegetable oils. I know, I know, don't but anything greasy in your compost pile. Well, I'm not buying it. The oil breaks down just like the rest of the stuff. In fact, after I poor oil into the center of the pile it heats up a little for a couple of days. That is a clear sign of microbial activity. So vegetable oil composts. The only other options we would have with oils are poor it down the drain (bad idea) or send it to the landfill (horrible idea). I feel it needs to be returned to the earth.

The third composting project I have going on is to pull weeks and lay them on the ground that has not been planted. This smothers weeds in the fallow areas and enriches the soil. After about two weeks, the pulled weeds have done there job and the areas is ready to be planted. This saves a lot of time and work. I just remove the weed mulch and the ground is pretty much prepared for me. Just a little cultivating and a little bit of nitrogen and it is good to go.

I have to add that Meme is now saving her vegetable scraps for me. She had two gallon bags full of stuff for me yesterday. Go MEME. Remember when I stole her garbage. She mentioned starting her own pile. I am so proud my Meme is growing into a gardener/environmentalist. Mamala also saves scraps for my worms. The worms are thankful. Favorite Sister and Sister #2 both have the container composting set up. They are doing well. Sister #2 actually was able to harvest about a half gallon of compost after just a few weeks. The trick to that is to freeze the scraps before putting them in the container. This damages the cell walls of the food scraps and the stuff breaks down faster after if thaws.

I should explain that the title of Favorite Sister can be applied to any sister who has done something for me. It changes as the wind blows. Favorite Sister made me my pretty header up there. If Sister #2 or Baby Sister do something nice for me, they will get to be Favorite Sister and the current Favorite Sister will become Sister #3 until she does something nice for me. Now don't think I am being selfish. We all do this. When we are together you will hear things like, "If you bring me a coke, you will be my favorite sister" or this, "If you change my baby's diaper, you will be my favorite sister. " We are all pretty fickle. Fortunately, I have a bunch of great sisters.