This past summer I asked you, my readers, if you composted. I shamefully admitted that I did not compost, despite some past half-hearted efforts that had failed. I am proud to let you know that we have been a composting family now for about two months and, come spring, I think our garden is going to be very well-fed
I don’t know what my problem was. It seemed like so much effort to get over to Metro to pick up one of their Earth Machines. Somehow I assumed there was no way it would fit in my car so I finally asked my dad to go pick one up for me in his truck. When he did and brought it to me I felt foolish to discover it comes apart into three pieces and would have easily fit in the trunk of my VW Jetta.
Once I had the bin, I had no more excuses. I found a flat corner spot in the backyard tucked behind some nandina bushes so it wasn’t too visible but still got plenty of sun (the heat helps the contents break down) and was close to the back door (to make it easy to get to on cold winter days).
We’ve been so excited about composting around here that the bin is already almost full. We keep an empty cat litter bucket under the kitchen sink and throw in all non-meat, non-dairy scraps. It fills up once or twice a week and then we dump it. We also throw in some yard waste as the instructions that came with the Earth Machine advised using a mix of green (fruits, veggies, bread) and brown (leaves, sticks) waste for the optimal environment. We still use our yard waste bin from the city for things like weeds, since apparently the seeds don’t die in the Earth Machine. If you throw weeds in you risk encouraging more weeds next year when you spread the compost, something I don’t need more of in my life.
Another side benefit is we are producing a lot less garbage. We already used the smallest available curbside bin but I estimate it’s about 1/5 less full as a result of rerouting food waste. That’s a big plus for my husband, who has to empty the kitchen garbage that much less often, not to mention the benefit to landfills.
If you’re not composting yet but have thought about it, learn from my experience. I put it off for years thinking it was too much of a hassle to get started, let alone to do it daily. Setting up the bin took about 15 minutes. I spend 5-10 minutes per week taking out the compost and washing the bin. I think I can spare the time and I know come next spring, when that luscious compost goes onto my yard, it will be worth every second.