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compost : a simple how to

how does your garden grow?  one of the best additions to mine is homemade compost.  don’t let that get you overwhelmed right from the start.  i’m totally non-tech.  heck, i don’t follow a recipe let alone figure out any science to composting.  it just works.  it’s nature.  it works itself.

here in the northwest we’ve been blessed with a beautiful spring and planting season is upon us!  and planting means composting for this girl.  this year, i bought new composters for inside and out.  the last few years we had a home-made bin that was literally falling apart.  i purchased this one from gardeners supply and think it looks great.  and it took only about 15 minutes to assemble.  bonus.


inside, i keep this little number on the counter and fill it will all my scraps.  i purchased it at bed bath & beyond.  it has a charcoal liner inside the lid to prevent pesky fruit flies from setting up residence in my kitchen.  so far, so good.

small composted

here’s what the inside of my kitchen composter looks like on a normal day:


and when i go through my fridge and find an entire bundle of asparagus that we forgot to eat, for some reason i don’t feel quite as guilty throwing it into the compost bin as i do throwing it into the trash.  ooops!


every few days i take my kitchen scraps out to the garden composter.  i’m not a scientist, but i do a layer of food scraps (greens) and cover with a layer of browns (leaves, needles, soil, etc).  without being technical about it, it seems to work quite well.  add some water to create heat and then take a pitchfork or stick and stir it up once in awhile.  i’m extremely relaxed about it and nature just kind of does its thing.

compost going

see?  there’s no reason to get overwhelmed about it at all.  it’s super easy.  and it works.  here’s a shot of my summer garden in full bloom:


believe me.  if i can do this, so can you.

there’s a million online resources for composting and all the materials, gimmicks, tips and tricks you could ever need.  if you don’t have the money to invest in a composter at this time, you can always dig a hole in the ground and make your own in-ground compost pile.  and a bowl or bucket in the kitchen works just as well, you just have to empty it every day to avoid the fruit flies.  keep it simple.

there are so many things you can put into your compost.  endless lists online of a hundred and more things.  some of them are a little gross if you ask me: {like toenails?!  and dead flies on the windowsill?!}  if you’re into collecting them, go for it.  but the mainstays in my compost are banana peels, fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds and filters, tea bags, egg shells, campfire ashes, pine needles, dead or rotten plant material, branches and a sprinkling of native soil.  a little bit of water and a stir now and then and next year you’ve got a gardener’s pot of gold in your backyard.

here’s a quick how to list anyone can follow:

compost 101



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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Courtney May 6, 2013, 12:26 am

    Thanks for making it sound easy, Tam! I have been intimated by composting, but you are inspiring me. I love how your kids get involved with the gardening and enjoy eating the veggies. I’d love to make that a reality someday! 🙂

    • Tammy May 7, 2013, 4:29 am

      you can do it, you can do it! you will make it a reality. SOON! can’t wait to meet that little girl! xoxo

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