garden, Uncategorized

The Poop on Composting

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.

 

The Poop on Composting 

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:

 


  1. Coffee grounds & the used coffee filters

  2. Tea bags & their wrappers

  3. Banana peels, egg shells, fruit & veggie scraps, etc (natural food)

  4. Dead leaves

  5. Chicken Poop

  6. Dead plants from the garden

  7. “old” potting soil
 

Here’s a list of things to NOT compost:

 


  1. 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.

  2. 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):

482660_10151489795280874_1281265119_n

A few months ago with kitchen scraps & dried out corn stalks from the summer garden:

compost 1

Broken down to this fine, nutrient-rich compost:

compost 2

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5 thoughts on “The Poop on Composting”

  1. Compost, since it is cold here and my spine and hip will not let me get out much, I have been putting my daily collection of kitchen veggie waste in the blender, going to my front porch, which is up 5 steps from the ground, and pouring it down below where I plan on planting my string beans in the spring. Have a compost pile out back, but the pain won’t let me down the stairs all the time.

    Worms, need chickens around here, plenty of worms, bugs and pests. Have plans as I posted on FB, have garlic planted in pails and covered with leaves, have leaves on compost pile, loads of leaves, no trees, just trees from neighbors. I would love to have garden in the ground, but have to do pails on my front porch, it gets so much sun all day…just a few steps out the front door, and convenient. Tiny porch..

    Also, my garden fork needs new handle, it broke, and broke my heart. Talk about budget, what is money???? I love being independent from processed. We had chickens, ducks, even two geese….all on a 1/4 acre lot, and neighbors who let us use their land, so Jim, my deceased husband, got goats, and the billy was down over the hill out of my vision! He was gone fast. He did not like women and I did not need that, had enough problems with 5 children, mother in law and Jim. Back to the animals, I loved them all, went through all that people go through now with out books, and advise. Hatched eggs in the aquarium in the living room and the chickens thought I was their mother, followed me all around the house. Baby chicks in basement in brooder, fine, not baby ducks, they put there food in water and the smell, well, ou tside they went. They were so much fun outside, little yellow fur balls at first, then they were Giant Pekings..and the fox got more than one. We started with 6.

    Goat milk, eggs, good chickens in the pot, all that is part of my past. Oh, the goats were good eating, also..

    Now, at 77, been truly thinking about the 6 pullets and one cock, that is enough. Got good housing for them, just need the portable screen house for their free ranging in safety….
    nuff? You keep up you blog and your little farm. More people should do something at their homes, even if it is herbs, small plants in the house, my son started an orange tree up north in his living room window. It is fun and living…so never stop living…when you are old like m you will have memories, and be healthy and have healthy children both physically and with skills to survive and d more than you are…that is what it is all about. I have 5 accomplishing more than I did with them, and I am proud of this…Just Sayin” 🙂

    Like

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