Composting Update :: We Have Steam!

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Two weeks ago, I went out with the boys to turn the compost pile we started last fall. As soon as I flipped the first forkful, a haze wafted into the air. At first I thought it was bugs, but then I realized what was going on: we had steam!

This is good news, and means that our pile is maturing. All the kitchen scraps and yard waste are finally starting to “cook” at temperatures near 140°, and are turning into nutrient-rich compost that we can use in our gardens. Check out the before and after turning photos – right under the surface lies the dark good stuff. You gotta love cradle to cradle recycling!

Here are some other compost notes:

  • The pile has almost no odor, another sign that all is working properly.
  • The Starbucks used coffee grounds are really helping – that’s good organic material.
  • The chicken wire I used to make the enclosure (as opposed to buying a manufactured barrel or tumbler) has an unforeseen benefit: camouflage. The dry leaves around the outside edge help it blend into the surroundings.
  • People keep asking what my strategy is, and it’s simple: try a little of everything. Add greens and browns in the right ratio, water it, turn it, keep meat/dairy/fatty stuff out of it, don’t put in sticks, add a cupful of top soil from time to time, throw in a cup of 10/10/10 fertilizer, add coffee grounds, etc. Just do it all!

That’s all for now…happy composting!

1 Response to “Composting Update :: We Have Steam!”

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