How to start composting

First of all let me say that these long stretches without blogging have made me miss this part of my life so much.

Like SO MUCH.

So a little back story on why life is like composting, stay with me here.

When I began this blog 8 years ago my kiddos were little and we were at home a lot. Life has changed a lot and in the most brief cliff notes ever:

I love my home, career, family, and have taken some huge risks to create the life that I have now. But that meant some sacrifice, and for a time setting aside most of my creative time to work on my career.

2014 was the one very hard year.  In one year I was a single mom with four children and one grandbaby depending on me. I lost my Mom and walked my older son thru the darkness of losing his Father to brain cancer.  But thank God that is not the end of the story. With some wonderful opportunity, and hard work life is very different now. 

I have remarried, and while none of us are perfect, Troy is one amazing guy.  Between us we have six kids and five grandkids.  All this by 49 years of age.  And I have to say I would not change one single thing.

So back to the compost, I know you are probably wondering when we are going to get back to that.  I grew up with a small farm that had a huge organic garden.  And now we are using our city farm to do the same, while we don’t have horses and cattle we do have a garden.

And the chickens are coming soon. Above is compost in the making.

You can live just about anywhere and compost.  It does not have cost anything to get started and even with a small flower bed or container garden on a city balcony you can reap the benefits of composting.

What foods are compostable? The list is much longer than this as many people use sawdust, ashes from their wood stove, and wood chippings.  But this is the basic list of everyday items you are probably sending to a landfill instead of sending much of what first came from the earth back to it once again.

My rule to not have the compost “smell” and not attract rodents is:  Egg shells, moldy bread, old rice or oats (with no butter or dairy in them) banana peels, fruit and veggie scraps, coffee grounds, paper towels (no chemicals or food on them) and the list goes on and on!

We don’t compost meat, cheese, eggs, any dairy products, or that type of food waste.  We have found that this keeps the critters away and by periodically turning your growing compost it is naturally breaking down into beautiful dirt.  Rich in nutrients and ready to add to your potting soil or garden 3-way mix to grow more amazing stuff.

They are a lot of elaborate set ups out there and expensive rolling bins but we have found that a small area in your yard (think three pallets to build the the walls of the bin) with a gated front or little piece of fencing you can move is all you need.  Once in a while you move the front piece and turn your soil.

When it looks like dirt, it’s ready.

One warning however, you will see kitchen waste and discarded things in a whole new way once you start composting.

The things that no one cared about anymore that were discarded were gathered up and made new again.  All those eggshells and wilting lettuce got a second chance to start over and be amazing.

So I guess we are kind of the same if given the chance to break down, rebuild and be free to be made new again.

And the best part, we just like that compost have the chance to help something else (or someone else) around us do the same.

Many cities have robust composting programs as that are available in many areas. And, you may find like we have that our garbage bill is down as well too!

Thank you for reading, I would love to hear your ideas and feedback.  Lots of love-

Tanya

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Comments

  1. Such a sweet story. Wishing you continued happiness and peace.

  2. It’s also good to add grass clippings, brush from pruning plants, small pieces of cardboard or other paper products (napkins, paper plates, mail, etc.) If important to have equal amounts of green and brown items in your compost. Adding too much green can cause a buildup of nitrogen and your compost could catch fire! If the compost is too wet it will smell really bad and if it’s too dry it won’t get hot enough to “cook” and it will take a very long time to turn into soil. I’m just learning all this as I have my first compost tumbler and it’s a bit more complicated than you made it sound.

    • Thank you Jen those are really good suggestions, the list is long as to what we can compost that we used to throw away! Thank you for stopping by 🙂

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Thank you so much for reading, and as always, may your heart and home be full of everything you love! xo, Tanya         linking up to: http://www.savvysouthernstyle.net/ And these awesome parties: http://www.twelveoeightblog.com/awesome-link-parties