Friday, June 14, 2013

Composting, Waste not want not

If you are like me then it kills you when something gets thrown away. I am always thinking about how I can reuse something or how to keep things from going in the trash. Left overs go to the chickens or the pigs, glass containers are washed and reused for storing seeds, lard, goats milk, or drinking out of.  But my biggest joy is when I can compost something. You put things in the compost that would otherwise go into the trash and ultimately a land fill and in return you get the best darn soil in the neighborhood. Compost is the ultimate in recycling, in my humble opinion. It doesn't have to be complicated. Your compost pile can be a simple whole in the ground, a plastic trash can with holes drilled in it, I've seen people build them out of old pallets and even buy expensive rotating barrel composters.
If you talk to any experienced gardener and ask them what their secret is 9 times out of 10 they will say "Compost". 
Compost piles are great when you have to clean out the chicken coop, goat houses, and  the rabbit hutches. My Chickens love my compost pile and I love them to be in it. The stir it up and add there own Organic matter while they are there.
  Everyone knows that you can compost kitchen scraps and newspaper, tea bags and garden clipping. Buy did you know you can compost the hair from your brush. I found this list from plantea of things that you can compost.

Paper napkins
Freezer-burned vegetables
Burlap coffee bags
Pet hair
Potash rock
Post-it notes
Freezer-burned fruit
Wood chips
Bee droppings
Lint from behind refrigerator
Popcorn (unpopped, 'Old Maids,' too)
Freezer-burned fish
Old spices
Pine needles
Matches (paper or wood)
Seaweed and kelp
Chicken manure
Leather dust
Old, dried up and faded herbs
Bird cage cleanings
Paper towels
Brewery wastes
Grass clippings
Hoof and horn meal
Molasses residue
Potato peelings
Unpaid bills
Gin trash (wastes from cotton plants)
Rabbit manure
Hair clippings from the barber
Stale bread
Coffee grounds
Wood ashes
Tea bags and grounds
Shredded newspapers
Egg shells
Cow manure
Winter rye
Grapefruit rinds
Pea vines
Houseplant trimmings
Old pasta
Grape wastes
Garden soil
Powdered/ground phosphate rock
Corncobs (takes a long time to decompose)
Jell-o (gelatin)
Blood meal
Winery wastes
Spanish moss
Fish meal
Aquarium plants
Beet wastes
Sunday comics
Harbor mud
Felt waste
Wheat straw
Peat moss
Kleenex tissues
Milk (in small amounts)
Soy milk
Tree bark
Starfish (dead ones!)
Melted ice cream
Flower petals
Pumpkin seeds
Q-tips (cotton swabs: cardboard, not plastic sticks)
Expired flower arrangements
Elmer's glue
BBQ'd fish skin
Bone meal
Citrus wastes
Stale potato chips
Rhubarb stems
Old leather gardening gloves
Tobacco wastes
Bird guano
Hog manure
Dried jellyfish
Wheat bran
Guinea pig cage cleanings
Nut shells
Cattail reeds
Granite dust
Moldy cheese
Shredded cardboard
Dolomite lime
Cover crops
Quail eggs (OK, I needed a 'Q' word)

Rapeseed meal
Bat guano
Fish scraps
Tea bags (black and herbal)
Apple cores
Electric razor trimmings
Kitchen wastes
Outdated yogurt
Toenail clippings
Shrimp shells
Crab shells
Lobster shells
Pie crust
Leather wallets
Onion skins
Bagasse (sugar cane residue)
Watermelon rinds
Date pits
Goat manure
Olive pits
Peanut shells
Burned oatmeal (sorry, Mom)
Lint from clothes dryer
Bread crusts
Cooked rice
River mud
Tofu (it's only soybeans, man!)
Wine gone bad (what a waste!)
Banana peels
Fingernail and toenail clippings
Chocolate cookies
Wooden toothpicks
Moss from last year's hanging baskets
Stale breakfast cereal
'Dust bunnies' from under the bed
Pencil shavings
Wool socks
Artichoke leaves
Leather watch bands
Fruit salad
Tossed salad (now THERE's tossing it!)
Brown paper bags
Soggy Cheerios
Theater tickets
Lees from making wine
Burned toast
Animal fur
Horse manure
Vacuum cleaner bag contents
Coconut hull fiber
Old or outdated seeds
Macaroni and cheese
Liquid from canned vegetables
Liquid from canned fruit
Old beer
Wedding bouquets
Greeting card envelopes
Dead bees and flies
Horse hair
Peanut butter sandwiches
Dirt from soles of shoes, boots
Fish bones
Ivory soap scraps
Spoiled canned fruits and vegetables
Produce trimmings from grocery store
Cardboard cereal boxes (shredded)
Grocery receipts
Are you surprised by all the things you can compost? I was!
This list makes me happy!  Although I don't think I will be composting urine any time soon.
The only thing you really need to remember is to alternate between kitchen scrapes and yard scrapes, basically you want a good mix of wet and dry matter. Your compost pile should be on the ground, not on a pallet or cement, you need the critters in the soil to help make your compost. Every once in awhile go out and turn your pile. Stick your shovel in and turn it around get some air into and keep it moist. Compost piles are forgiving though. You can pile a bunch of stuff up and forget about will still break down into compost sooner or later.