One of my favorite blogs is hosting a Compost Along! This makes me more excited than it would normal people, but I never claimed normality, and it makes me happy that there are other people just as excited as I am. :D
I have joined, and our first assignment is to decide how we want to compost (bin, pile on the ground, etc.) and how we are going to get materials for it.
My family already has a compost pile in the backyard next to the vegetable garden. It’s the very shady spot that never was able to grow much. A lot of it was used up in this year’s planting, and I’d like to put more work into it to make better compost.
Homework #1 – How do you want to compost?
In the pile next to the vegetable garden.
Homework #2 – Where are you going to get materials?
Here is what I can think of, based on the Week 1 list:
- Herbivorous animal manure
- My bunny has promised to make weekly contributions to earn his keep with the family.
- Cardboard rolls
- Toilet paper/paper towel rolls?
- Clean paper
- We shred junk mail; I suppose I could use that. I’m not sure about the ink, though. Maybe that’s what it means by “clean”? Hmm… I’ll ask about that one. Actually, I use shredded paper for my bunny’s litter box, so I probably have enough shredded paper to add to it. Problem solved.
- Coffee grounds and filters
- I don’t drink coffee, but my parents do. I could have them collect their used coffee grounds.
- Dryer lint
- From the dryer, of course!
- Perhaps I’ll put a plastic container with a lid next to the sink to collect these things. I think that would encourage my family not to put these things down the disposal.
- Fireplace ashes
- We don’t have a fireplace, but we have a fire pit in the backyard.
- Fruits and vegetables
- I’m not sure about this… My dad said it’ll attract rats. I’d like to add some, though.
- Grass clippings
- We use ours as “lawn mulch” (it’s a legitimate thing, but we’re actually just too lazy to be bothered to collect it). Perhaps the neighbors will have bags, though I’d have to get up rather early to get them.
- Hay and straw
- I bought my bunny some oat grass hay to eat as something different from Timothy hay, but he doesn’t seem to like it much, so I can compost that. I can also compost the old hay that he doesn’t eat that gets mixed with his droppings.
- I can add these in the fall.
- Nut shells
- We do love our peanuts.
- Shredded newspaper
- We have a shredder and get the newspaper.
- Tea bags
- I <3 iced tea. I make it all the time in summer. Once I find my iced tea maker (or give up and just make it the old-fashioned way), I’ll have plenty of tea bags to contribute.
- Yard trimmings
- We have lots of old dead herbs that I had to dig out of the pots this year. I saved them to put in the compost, except for the mint. That’ll go in the yard waste bin because I don’t want to take any chances of it sprouting and running rampant in the backyard.
My main concern is getting enough green material. I don’t have any grass clippings, and I’ve been told that putting fruits and vegetables in the compost will attract rats. I’m thinking I could perhaps walk down to the lake after storms and collect leaves from fallen branches. I think that might work. Hmm…