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Life on the Compost Heap0

We’ve been composting vegetative kitchen scraps all winter long. And as a result we’ve got a great start on the next batch of compost.

Here’s how our system works.

With two compost bins, we have a working heap and a second heap decomposing into compost. Last fall, we turned over the working heap from the spring and summer kitchen scraps into the second bin and covered them with leaves mulched by the lawn mower. In another six weeks or so it will be ready to use with spring plantings.

Once this bin is cleared of compost,  the working heap of the winter’s kitchen scraps will be turned over into that bin and covered with the leaf mulch raked from the raised beds this spring.

For a compost pile to decompose efficiently, you need a mix of carbon-rich materials, such as leaves and small twigs, and nitrogen-rich materials like the green kitchen scraps. The resulting combination yields that great black gold that gets incorporated into garden beds and potting soil for container plantings. 

By necessity and design, our composting process is a pretty simplified one. We don’t add fancy organic activators (the worms do a great job all by themselves) or turn the piles over a dozen times. And it just feels really good to get a great soil augmenter without having to go out and buy one.

text and photos by Ann D. Travers

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