Thursday, August 28, 2008


Yes, that's dirt all over me!

Composting is simple. My uncle once said if you raked a huge pile of leaves and left them out in the elements, eventually you would have great compost. He was right. For years I have been saving my grass clippings in a pile. Left untouched, it rots and when I lift up a segment, it is hot to the touch. This is from the decomposing of the organic matter. There is no odor beyond what soil smells like when composting is done right.

I got a new tumbler composter at the end of the summer and I am very excited. It's an Achla Design brand. I researched many brands and designs this summer, looked into shipping onto our tiny island, (almost the cost of the composter) and ultimately chose this one because it was the only one for sale here. I got it at good old Ace Hardware -- paid $229. I wanted something that had no holes for rodents to enter, and something that I could spin. (I have a small property - less than 1/2 acre and I don't want to attract rodents. I have found that a regular compost pile with kitchen scraps seemed to bring little mice into my house in a way that this isn't.)

It's a great product, and very easy to use. I am now composting almost all of our organic kitchen scraps, (fruits, veggies, eggshells) the small amount of grass we get from our lawn being mowed, shredded paper, green waste from the garden, and even dryer lint! I have had it going for a few weeks, and will be getting a batch of compost soon. For anyone who has never done this, it's REALLY easy. The trick is to get the right amount of wet and dry ingredients, adding a bit of water when necessary, and "turning" the compost, which brings air into it and helps with decomposition of organic matter. In my case the compost is turned by spinning the container, which is connected to a metal frame.

My composter is pictured behind me. I have begun clearing out an overgrown tropical plant in the corner of our property. It's a big job...and I am trying to get some help. I'll be lucky to find someone...or slowly I will plug away. It's a messy job. But nothing Green Mama can't handle...or Green Mama and a couple of guys!

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