Posts made in March 15th, 2013

DIY Composting

Posted on Mar 15, 2013 in Crafty, DIY | 1 comment

DIY Composting

The downside to not living in San Francisco anymore is the lack of free, city-wide composting services. The upside to not living in San Francisco anymore is that I not only have room for my own compost bin, but I have space to build a garden to use the compost in. Life’s full of trade offs I guess.

 

In anticipation of this year’s garden season, I decided it was time to build myself a compost bin. At first I looked into buying one, but the hefty price tags quickly deterred me. And by deterred me, I mean I almost had a heart attack.

 

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But worry not- if you’re like me there are other alternatives! I got a five gallon bucket from Menards for $3.97. From there, I drilled a few holes for aeration and drainage, added a lid, and called it a day. Stickers optional.

 

The reason I went with a five gallon bucket rather than a fifty gallon trashcan was that I wanted to make my compost in smaller, more spread out batches. Once my bucket starts getting full, I’ll go to Menards and start another one. Hopefully the smaller batches will also help the compost finish faster. I’m not 100% sure it works that way, but it seems logical to me. Check back in a month or two and I’ll let you know 😉

 

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And now for starting to compost…. I’ve read article after article about the appropriate balance of carbon (paper goods, dried leaves, etc) to nitrogen (food scraps, plant clippings, etc) in a compost bin, but no one seems to agree. The general gambit seems to run from 8:1 to 1:1.

 

As you may (or may not) be able to tell from my photo, I’m starting at the 1:1 route. If it starts to smell funky, I’ll adjust as I go. Luckily there are a bunch of websites that diagnose compost imbalances.

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Now that I’ve started, all that’s left to do is add stuff, make sure it’s moist, and periodically stir things up. T minus one month to beautiful compost! If you’re just getting started here’s a great, quirky list of things that can be composted. If you have a minute, read the opening story too, it’s one of my favorites!

 

Oh, as an added bonus, UrbanFarmOnline.com has a printable check list. I already have mine on the fridge! Happy composting everyone!

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