Sunday, November 09, 2008

Save the environment .... compost your kitchen waste!

My 'compost cake' showing rotted and half rotted compost


Believe it or not but part of the fight against Global warming is home composting. We throw away an amazing amount of uncooked food waste in our kitchens which when put into landfill tips releases harmful greenhouse gasses as it tries to decompose buried under tonnes of rubbish. The answer is to save it and put it into a home composter to prevent that and also to provide beautifully rich compost to either pot up plants with or enrich flower/veg beds.

The secret to successful composting is to make sure that you have a good mix of different types of waste. Things fall into different groups ...

BROWNS ... Woody garden cuttings twigs and sawdust, cardboard, egg boxes, toilet rolls, newspaper, shredded paper.

GREENS ... Old flowers and bedding plants, uncooked kitchen scraps, peelings, t-bags, grass cuttings, annual weeds.

NEVER PUT IN ... cooked food, meat, perennial weeds with roots, dairy products, diseased plants, cat/dog muck.

The way to compost well is to make sure you have an ample mix of the above ingredients, keep it damp and just keep feeding the bin.

It takes about 9-12 months for the ingredients to rot down properly. I find that the best way to access the usable compost is to remove the bin by lifting it up and revealing the bin contents as a 'compost cake', you will find that the usable stuff is in the bottom 1/2 section and as you move up the layers become less rotted. I did this the other afternoon with the 2 bins at home, I took the top layers off and put them back into the bin to carry on rotting and then I sieved the usable stuff to produce the most fantastic compost for FREE!!!! About 6 big plastic sacks full! Go on, do your bit for the environment AND your garden!

Compost cake (courtesy of wrap website)

9 comments:

coffeeandapplepie said...

I love composting! After 2 years of a soggy mess, it finally clicked earlier this year, and I'm now hooked - if it stands still and its not raw meat, it goes in the composter!! the dogs are now safe....I put all the info in that you don't want to put in the bin - like bank statements and stuff and have as dry material - just bung them in, but your wet material on top and hey presto, (Hopefully) no chavs digging in your compost bin for confidential information! Cat x

Woody Wilbury said...

That looks good enough to eat. I've eaten Xmas puddings that looked worse than that!!

glosterwomble said...

Thanks Cat, I agree, we are the same with chucking anything in even the old cotton oven gloves!!

I wouldn't try to eat it though woody wilbury!!! Mind you I agree about seeinf worse xmas puds!!

Tim said...

Cleary written advice. I also love sifting through my bins and finding free high-quality compost - great stuff, great post!

PS. Glad to see that your bad experience over the summer hasn't put you off!

Tim

glosterwomble said...

Thanks Tim, good to hear from you again. Just had a look at your blog, looking good!

Green Girls said...

I liked this compost blog. I would like to use some of the info and pass it on to others. You have a beautiful garden. i aspire to do a fraction of what you plant! Keep up the good work. Angie of the Green Girls of Karmafarmonline.com

glosterwomble said...

Thanks Angie!! Of course you can pass on info to others from my blog, glad if it can be of use to others!!

Compostwoman said...

Nice post!

I am always interested in other compost related posts...and this one was a really good one..

I have been running a series of posts during Compost Awareness Week

I am not far away from you, either...perhaps we might meet up sometime?

glosterwomble said...

Thanks for the comment Compostwoman!