It should be said right off the top that this style of post is not my normal beat, but when I get a chance to co-write a piece with Nikki from Women are from Mars I just have to jump all over it. Nikki as most of you may know is a fervent environmental blogger. Her weekly Tree-Hugger Tuesday posts are not only informative and environmentally conscious but also fun!
Dar and I are also committed to doing our part to reduce our waste stream that is destined for Brady landfill here in Winnipeg. We are active recyclers and donators to the Leaf It With Us program, where the city takes yard wastes and either composts them on an industrial scale or as in the case of tree waste chips the wood down and makes decorative landscaping products.
So when we found out that the City of Winnipeg was having a massive sale on composters we simply had to get in on it. The unit we purchased normally retails for $100 but through the city sale we were able to get it for only $30 taxes included. What a deal!
Having a large back yard is one of the many perks and headaches about living in a mid-sized Canadian city. It’s great to have a place to relax and garden in the summer but with a large yard also comes potential waste. Grass clippings and leaves that would normally be bagged and disposed of can now be turned into beautiful healthy soil for our garden and Dar’s potted plants.
It’s a win-win situation, taking something that would previously be thought of as garbage and saving money on fresh black earth and fertilizer is all upside from our point of view. As Nikki points out in Make your own dirt! Glorious dirt!, composting is not hard at all. Basically all the composter does is concentrate heat from the biomass (grass, leaves, banana peels, coffee grounds, any vegetable matter really) and along with the natural forces of decay speeds up the decomposition process that occur naturally producing nutrient rich soil.
The only inputs the process needs from us are aeration (mixing), moisture to keep the pile active and addition of new material in a layered way. If you take a good base of browns (dried leaves, grass, even twigs) and then alternate your greens (non-meat kitchen scraps and damp organics) to keep the odor and critters away nature does the rest!
It took me about 10 minutes to set up our composter on patch of bare grass, so that beneficial helpers can get to it (earthworms and such) I threw in a couple of garbage bags of dried leaves that we had saved for the occasion added some old pots of soil that over wintered and added the days organic kitchen scraps. Badda bing, badda boom, done!
So, if a blogger such as myself can start composting any of you fine folks can too. It’s cheap, it’s good for the environment and your pocket-book so why not compost? Let’s get to it!
Authors Note: You can look for Nikki’s half of the story in the pages of Women Are From Mars coming in June.
- Comfrey compost tea (yurtsandthings.wordpress.com)
- Simple Composting For All: Tips for Easy Composting (hippiemagazine.com)
- Compostable? I think not. (1840farm.wordpress.com)
- Mrs. Money: Composting 101 (savings.com)