One of the most exciting things I have made on this homestead is a compost. No, not even kidding! There is just something about making your own dirt with banana peels, coffee grinds, egg shells, and whatever else I can throw in there that just makes life great.
One thing I didn’t know about composting when I first started out is that to takes MONTHS (years of you don’t turn it) of rotating the leaves, grass, and food to get a very tiny bit of dirt, but my garden loves it and it’s really easy to make!
Last year, I had three rotting pallets bungee corded together to make my compost, and it worked for me. But with two gardens now, and the pellets rotting more than ever, I wanted to get a little more serious about my compost. I wanted a bigger, better, and sturdier compost. First, I’ll show you how I made my compost, and then I’ll explain (for those of you who don’t know) what a compost is and how it works..
I took some old tin and fiberglass pieces that were laying around, along with some thin logs from a tree that was recently cut down. After nailing two of the logs to the 62″ piece of mettle -making sure to leave a few inches at the bottom of the logs to place in the ground- I measured the length and dug two holes so Thai I could place it into the ground to make the back of the compost.
After making sure the back of the compost was secure, and packing a bit of extra dirt around the logs, I got to work on the sides. The sides were much easier! Getting nails through mettle sucked, but I found that it was rather easy to get them through the fiberglass. I attached a log to one end of both of the 50″ fiberglass sides pieces, making sure they were secure before moving them. After which, I attached the non log side of the side peice, to the log attached to the back of the compost, and dug the whole to put the log into. Then repeated with the other side. And thus, my compost was together!
I can’t wait to start filling it up with leaves and grass clippings! I didn’t expect it to be as big as I made it, but the bigger the compost, the more compost you can make! And now I don’t need to make a bigger one next year. 😉 This compost should make more than enough compost for my veggie garden and flower garden, with maybe a little left over for seed starting.
Now, what is a compost? A compost works by taking a mixture of brown materials (leaves, twigs, etc.), and green materials (grass clippings, potato peels, tea bags, etc.) with a little bit of water, to make dirt. All those things break down over time and make what we call, compost. Compost isn’t just dirt though, it’s packed full of all sorts of great things that your plants will love! If you’re careful what you put in it of course..
There are many different ways to compost, but I’ll explain about the three most used composting ways in this post.
1. You can layer greens and browns and leave it for a year or two, it will break down by its self but it will take years to do so, the bigger the pile, the more times it takes. Just layer it and leave it. It doesn’t take much to do, besides making sure the pile stays moist, but it takes way to much patience for me..
2. Another way, is to start a worm pile. The worms eat the food and meterial, and poop out the compost. This is faster than the first, but still slow if you don’t mix the compost. I plan to add a little worm compost later on in the future just to see how it works, but until then, I will stick with my way of composting.
3. The third way I will talk about is the quickest way to get compost, but takes the most work. The more you stir a compost, the quicker it’ll break down. By adding green and brown materials (like shown in #1.), keeping it damp with water (but not soaked!), and turning it often (I turn mine everyday), the smaller materials that break down and will sink to the bottom of the compost. As you keep adding more food, grass clippings, and leaves, and spinning it more and more, you’ll have a nice bit of dark dirt at the bottom of your compost after just a few months. If course, you can get a compost that you can actually spin, but those are expensive.
Compost gets put on your garden in the fall, allowing it time to break down during the winter. In the spring, adding compost to a bit of dirt and manure is great for starting seeds in pots.
If you’re thinking about starting a compost, it is a great way to cut back on your food waste, give back to the Earth, and help your garden produce better food for the future. Even if you don’t have a big space for a compost, and just love in a tiny apartment with a few potted plants, that’s okay, make it small! Grab a mason jar, or a plastic container with holes poked in the top, add coffee grounds and egg shells to the container, shake it up every once in a while, and enjoy your mini compost!
Well, that’s all for today. Have an amazing day, give back to the Earth, think about the future, and smile.
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