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Compost mad

August 17, 2012 in Blog

7 comments

Whoa, I have gone compost mad. I want to build up enough of a supply to sustain my veggie patch so I am going to have to get busy. Since there are only 3 in my family I need to get creative so am collecting coffee grounds from my local cafe (thanks so much, it’s great stuff), and any excess from my work place. I have even scabbed fallen leaves from the storm water drains nearby which has made a huge difference.

7 comments to 'Compost mad'

  1. My family is new to composting and we are also a small family. Any tips for new starters?

    • @Stanwix A sunny aspect is best to generate as much heat as possible in an aerobic compost bin. You need to put even layers of carbon (straw, leaves, shredded paper with black ink only etc), and nitrogen based products (coffee grounds, kitchen scraps, hair, vacuum dust, manure etc). Turn compost once a week. It’s handy to have 2 bins; one breaking down while other is filling up. The process is faster if ingredients are chopped up. Should take around 6 weeks to break down. Good luck, it’s rewarding.

  2. @Tracey good thing I’m looking back through some old blogs and comments, it didn’t occur to me that we could put the vacuum dust into the compost bin! We’ve got two bins now, only one has anything in it yet (we’re also a small family) so I’ll need to work out how to increase the yield to get enough compost for our veggie beds! I have wondered about hiring a mulcher once I’ve cut back/ removed plants from the back garden to make way for edible plants – perhaps if it isn’t good for actual garden mulch it’ll be alright in the compost bins.

    One thing I haven’t quite clarified yet – do you know if meat scraps can go into the compost bins?

    • @Taryn Up until yesterday I didn’t think so; but if your compost generates enough heat – 65 to 75 degrees over a long enough period – anything which has lived can technically go into compost bin. You would want to make sure you have mastered this though as nasty pathogens may have lived through the process otherwise. If you get it right meat isn’t meant to smell at all. In fact, it was said that dead animals make great compost starter. I’m still undecided about the whole thing.

  3. @Tracey sometimes you can get local cafes/restaurants to give you their organic waste if you’re reliable about picking it up. I reckon that’s a good way to go if you’re wanting to get a lot of usable compost. You can also get manure to add in which speeds thing up too, apparently (micro-organisms. that’s all i want to know about it)

    • @Billy I tried approaching a few fruit markets and cafes on the Southside but didn’t have much luck; most of them already have contractors taking their organic waste for pig farms etc.

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