Today, I’m going to talk about
poop compost. You know, the 4-1-1, the poop, and all that rotten stuff that makes veggies grow amazing & what not. The good, bad & the just plain smelly.
Once upon a time we had compost and it smelled like something died. Why?, you ask. Well, it was because we were doing at all wrong. Fortunately, we learned the error of our ways & nowadays we have a HUGE compost pile that doesn’t smell. At all. I’m sure our neighbors appreciate the lack of smell too! Here’s are some guidelines I recommend for stink-free composting in the city:
Here’s a list of things we compost:
- Coffee grounds & the used coffee filters
- Tea bags & their wrappers
- Banana peels, egg shells, fruit & veggie scraps, etc (natural food)
- Dead leaves
- Chicken Poop
- Dead plants from the garden
- “old” potting soil
Here’s a list of things to NOT compost:
- Protein – meats, cheeses, dairy, & grease. These things will rot instead of breaking down & will smell to high heaven. Just don’t do it. Save the bacon grease for cooking, and give the dairy to the chickens for a treat.
- Dog poop from your precious FiFi or Fido- Dogs consume protein which is then expelled upon elimin…..well, you get the idea. If you want to kill a plant, then you can feed it dog poop. Ask my mom about that time my brother & I “fertilized” her new magnolia tree. On better thought…you better not!
So what were we doing wrong last time? We dumped everything in the compost tub (livestock water trough like this) & let it catch rain. I’m not gonna’ lie. It was like a stinky mess of sludge from the sewer.
How’d we get it back on track? We dumped that stinky mess in the far corner of our yard, then we added a little chicken poop here, some veggie scraps there & turned it a time or two to let it aerate so that it would dry out & break down. We figured out that you kind of just have to check on it every now & then to make sure you haven’t overloaded it with more of one item than another. If it doesn’t look like it’s breaking down good, then we just feed the edible scraps to the chickens, because it’ll eventually end up in the compost.
We keep our kitchen scraps in an old pot with a lid in the kitchen until it’s full. Then we go dump it directly on the compost pile. It shouldn’t smell if you keep the protein out.
There are all kinds of fancy composting barrels like this or this, or DIY pallet projects to make compost bins, or even adding these little guys to speed up the process, but frankly when you’re on a budget & talking about dirt- we just opted to let it do it’s thing directly on the ground.
This past spring all chunky & sopping wet
(we let the chickens in to scratch around for yummy bugs & worms):
A few months ago with kitchen scraps & dried out corn stalks from the summer garden:
Broken down to this fine, nutrient-rich compost:
So why compost? Why not?! It’s free & easy. Our compost has been stink free since March this year & has doubled in size. It’s breaking down fabulously (thank you Texas summers!), and should be ready for this spring in the gardens.
Did I mention that our waste in the house has downsized immensely? So now we spend less on trash bags & put less into the landfills. Or that the kitchen trash doesn’t get that funky smell anymore? It’s pretty much a win-win.
Compost puts TONS of nutrients back into the soil that get depleted by the plants sucking up the nutrients. It’s a vicious cycle & I want my veggies loaded with nutrients 🙂 When you work the soil, it rewards you. And I really want to be rewarded with a boat load of tomatoes this spring!
This post has been linked up on Homestead Barn Hop over at The Prairie Homestead- full post here