I mentioned in a <a href=”https://www.jaworskihouse.com/blog/index.php?/archives/139-Broccoli-and-Beets.html” title=”previous post”>recent post</a> that I was using material from the compost pile. Yesterday, Grist <a href=”http://www.grist.org/advice/how/2008/08/19/” title=”grist.org – composting”>published an article</a> about how to get started in composting. What’s nice about their articles is that they try to cover all the bases, from people who have the traditional sub-urban spread with lots of yard and space, to those living in higher density arrangements, eg, apartments.<br />n<br />nLet me talk a bit about our composting efforts.<br />n<br />nWe’ve been composting our kitchen waste, as well as appropriate yard waste, on and off for about seven or eight years. It does take a bit of dedication to get the kitchen scraps into the compost, and the pile does need to be turned occasionally, so it really depends on how motivated I am.<br />n<br />nThe local government, back in the early 00’s, was offering compost bins for a drastically reduced price to residents. I went and got me one, which is the modular Smith and Hawken BioStack, they call it. It has three sections that stack on top of each other so that it makes it easy to turn the pile. When it’s time to turn it, you remove the material at the top enough so that the top section can come off, then you place it around the material you just moved off the top. Then, continue moving material from the original location, filling up the bottom section in the new location. Do that until all three sections have been moved, such that what was the top section is now the bottom. Here’s a picture of it:<br />n<a href=”https://www.jaworskihouse.com/image_files/garden/2008/composter_01-mdm.jpg” title=”smith and hawken composter”><!– s9ymdb:36 –><img width=’165′ height=’220′ style=”border: 0px; padding-left: 5px; padding-right: 5px;” src=”https://www.jaworskihouse.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/garden/composter_01-mdm.serendipityThumb.jpg” alt=”” /></a><br />n<br />nPersonally, I think this unit works pretty well. If it hasn’t been turned in a while and you need some fresh compost, simply go through the motions of turning it and you get to the good bottom stuff that’s ripe and ready to be spread or mixed into your soil. The lid is hinged so that it’s easy to dump new scraps into it, which usually happens either daily or every two days around here, and are mainly scraps from the kitchen.<br />n<br />n<a href=”https://www.jaworskihouse.com/image_files/garden/2008/composter_02-mdm.jpg” title=”compost material”><!– s9ymdb:37 –><img width=’220′ height=’165′ style=”border: 0px; padding-left: 5px; padding-right: 5px;” src=”https://www.jaworskihouse.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/garden/composter_02-mdm.serendipityThumb.jpg” alt=”” /></a><br />n<br />nYou can see that it’s getting a bit low, since I took a bunch out to use in the garden. I need to mow the lawn or pick up some leaves to replenish it.<br />n<br />nHere’s a closeup of the material inside:<br />n<!– s9ymdb:38 –><img width=’220′ height=’165′ style=”border: 0px; padding-left: 5px; padding-right: 5px;” src=”https://www.jaworskihouse.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/garden/composter_03-mdm.serendipityThumb.jpg” alt=”” /><br />nYou can see that it’s not all uniform like you’d get in a bag from the store, but it’s all good, and locally made.<br />n<br />nI also want to point out that at no time does this compost pile smell! We don’t put any fatty material in it, like meat scraps (that’s what the dog is for), though we do throw in egg shells. All it smells like, at any given time, is earthy, organic material, or really fertile soil. Though it does not stink, I have learned to appreciate that aroma since it means that things are taking their natural way, breaking down, getting ready to nourish the next generation of plant life.