Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Compost Roasting by a Woodstove Fire

And, with any luck, no nasty smells nipping at my nose.

I've set up my indoor compost bin, modifying the online directions I found based on information gleaned from this great page on 13 common composting myths.

A few pics, and my modifications:

The bucket I found at Ace Hardware, and the project supervisor.

The aeration holes. Based on the word of a random stranger on the internet who said size didn't matter, I went with a quarter-inch drill bit, to reduce the possibility of solids escaping.

Same size drainage holes in the bottom. I purchased a clear plastic pot saucer for the bucket to sit on, to catch any drainage. which I would dilute and add to my potted plants.

First, a few inches of potting soil from my recently vacated carrot bucket.

I chopped up the larger pieces of kitchen scraps. We'll see how long this dedication to composting lasts.

I then added a few  inches of kitchen scraps.

Next a layer of sawdust. If I had a paper shredder, I would use shredded paper instead as the brown, per the above myth link. A different random stranger on the internet tell me that the ideal ration of brown to green is 25 to one (and I know Lauren Dittman has given me very precise information but my brain did not retain it -- sorry Lauren!) Random stranger number two indicated that a 3 to 1 ratio would suffice, at least with coffee grounds, so I'll aim for that and will be adding more sawdust as soon as I post this.

Finally, I decided to mix it all up instead of keeping it in layers, again based on the advice from the Composting Myths website. It makes sense that well distributed greens and browns would compost faster and better than inches-thick layers. I tried lidding and shaking the pail, which I think would have worked brilliantly with shredded paper. Not so with the sawdust, which leaked out of my tiny holes a bit, so I instead used the fireplace shovel to mix things up. I'm planning on picking up a dedicated scoop from a feed or hardware store.

And lastly, the finished project, warming by the fire. I shall report back as I see results or smell problems.

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