Composting Begins!

composting-bin

One of my new year goals is off and running! Our composting bin is set up and ready to go. Composting is a great means of cutting back on garbage while making some wonderful soil for your garden! A simple way to being a good steward and not letting anything go to waste! My Grandma told me this is the key to her lucious tomato plants producing an abundant crop. I kept it simple and purchased the composting bin that Azure Standard now offers (just under $40 for the set) as we are very limited in our condo with no back yard beyond a deck. It had very simple instructions and came with everything including the container, worms, moss, and paper. It did not exactly fit under my kitchen sinkĀ  (it was so close, but the garbage disposal was in the way), so we are keeping a small plastic container under the sink to collect organic scraps throughout the day, and the composting bin in the garage. At the end of the day we dump the matter into the bin, and start again! All’s I have to do now is feed these little worms 1/2 lb of food scraps each day!

Further Reading

Worm Composting in a trash can - Tammy’s shares about her composting method. Great if you have the space!

Any tips on composting you want to send my way?

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of four, homemaker, and writer. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

31 Responses to Composting Begins!

  1. Jill December 1, 2010 at 11:10 am #

    I’ve really enjoyed reading “Square Foot Gardening” by Mel Bartholomew which also has some helpful ideas about composting.

    His website mostly promotes his products rather than discussing any of his essential concepts that are in his book. (www.squarefootgardening.com) Plus, they sell “kits” but it’s much cheaper to make the garden boxes yourself (you can buy wood and ask them to cut it for you at the hardware store).

    I used his composting idea in my yard and it works well. However, our back yard is fenced in (as is typical for homes in Texas) so our neighbors don’t actually see it. I planted some lovely tall grass in a few bunches in front of it to block the view from the house… so it’s not an eye-sore to anyone.

    Here’s the concept: make a circle shaped fence out of strong chicken wire. You can use zip-ties to attach the two ends together to make a circle, and leaving the top and bottom ends open. The circle size is important: a 5-foot diameter is too wide, and anything less than a 3-foot diameter is too narrow. Something in-between is just perfect enough to keep some moisture in, but still allows enough airflow. Pile ingredients into the compost (green then brown as discussed in other posts). Then, when you are ready to “stir” it, pick up the chicken wire fence around the pile, and move it to another spot (the ‘dirt’ stays put where it is). Then, shovel the compost into the “bin” in it’s new spot. It is a bit of work, but is good exercise. It gets its own worms naturally, and the only thing you pay for is the chicken wire fence!

    More than his compost idea (which I can understand if people don’t like it so much, but it’s CHEAP), I really really really like the square foot gardening concept, which is efficient, space-saving, and a lot of fun. The book is worth checking out.

  2. b. May 19, 2009 at 2:56 pm #

    I stumbled upon this and, although it’s mostly an aesthetic item you may just like it. http://tiny.cc/otBrX It’s Plow and Hearth’s compost crocks.

  3. Kathy February 26, 2009 at 8:36 am #

    Lindsay,
    I am considering buying the same compost bin from Azure, so I would really be interested in an update if you get a chance. The “how to get to the good stuff” info would be good to know. Thanks.

    • Lindsay February 26, 2009 at 9:47 am #

      So far it has been working fine. I have read that during the winter the worms slow down their consumption significantly, so I am definitely not feeding them 1 lb of scraps a day. It has been more like 1 lb twice a week or so. I am not sure if the compost will be ready in time for planting, but at least I am getting started. The instructions include the whole process of weeding out the compost, so it seems rather simple.

  4. Christen February 22, 2009 at 9:14 pm #

    too weird, we started our compost on the same day! you grow girl!

    someone asked about getting the worms out when it’s time.. this is my plan..
    i made the worm bin out of a rubbermaid container and have another waiting for the compost to be ready (about 3 months) it has holes in the bottom, you set it in the current bin and start putting the food in it, the worms will work their way up (1 or 2 months) then that is their new home and after you use the “black gold” you repeat the cycle with that empty bin.

    love your blog!

  5. Melissa - Bumblebaby Mommy February 18, 2009 at 5:17 pm #

    I use the Worm Factory
    http://www.worms.com/worm-factory.html

    for my bin – its down in the laundry room where I can feed my worms the dryer lint. We were given this bin as a sample at a hardware show – it is by far the best indoor bin I’ve ever seen or used! We sell them at our Ace Hardware stores – check your local store, it may be less expensive there than it is online.

    The worms in this system slowly move from the lowest tray into the upper trays – so you won’t lose as many worms when you put the compost outside!

  6. Britta February 13, 2009 at 6:57 pm #

    My children and I just put our “worm farm” together last week. We bought the same kit from Azure. I’m not feeding them 1/2 pound every day oh no!! I am having a hard time remembering to stop putting compostable (sp?) material down my garbage disposal…bad habits are hard to break!! I talked to a friend today who did the same worm bin and she found that she was feeding them too much and had to cut back. The other thing she said was when it was time to harvest her compost she would dump the worm bucket out on a large tarp and watch the worms huddle together. I didn’t see in the directions this info. Do you know how to get the good stuff out or when??? HELP!!

    • Christen February 22, 2009 at 9:17 pm #

      ooops, new to this blog thing and didn’t realize i could reply to your question about getting the worms out, so i posted a comment below :)

  7. Martha February 13, 2009 at 1:43 pm #

    Oh, and here’s a forum about composting with worms: http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/verm/

    I don’t know anything about that myself, I just spouted off on the stuff I did know. LOL

  8. Martha February 13, 2009 at 1:38 pm #

    Awesome information about composting (sometimes more than you ever wanted to know) can be found at http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/soil/

    The best information to remember for those who are hot composting is to have a proper balance of greens (not necessarily green, these are items with a high water and nitrogen content) and browns (these are items with low moisture/high carbon). Greens include things like grass clippings, pulled (non-invasive) weeds, and vegetable and fruit scraps and peelings. Browns include things like fallen leaves and paper. You want to be at about 30% greens and 70% browns, and the pile should be just about as moist as a wrung-out sponge. This method creates finished compost faster than any other.

  9. ltyler February 13, 2009 at 12:29 pm #

    We just started a compost pile in our (new) yard, but pile is all it is right now. I saw the neighbor’s son eying it askance recently. Hopefully it won’t cause us any trouble in the neighborhood. LOL. I have a question about the suggestion on some of the links to use newsprint as “brown” compost. When my first daughter was a baby I read of the importance of not letting babies play with newsprint because of some poison or toxin contained therein. I used to know the details, but don’t anymore. I just don’t let my babies play with it. Do you know anything about that? (The idea of newspaper companies switching over to something safer sounds familiar, but I’m not sure. This whole topic is hazy in my memory.) I guess I’m just wondering if it’s safe to compost newsprint, or if we should just stick to using leaves for the brown layer. Thanks!

  10. tracy February 13, 2009 at 11:03 am #

    I need to get back to composting…it’s such fun and turns dirty dirt into living dirt. One tip I saw on someone’s blog was this: when peeling and chopping veggies, do it over a piece of newspaper. When you are finished, you can fold the newspaper with all the kitchen scraps inside and toss the whole thing into your compost bin.

  11. Jennifer February 13, 2009 at 6:17 am #

    Martha Stewart has a how to make your own cold (worm) compost bin here. We opted to do the hot compost bin last year, but it got way to heavy to turn. Plus, as proud of it as I am, it is a little bit of an eye sore. I hesitate to place plants around it. I’ve read they will sneak nutrients away. Any ideas on how to spruce it up? It doesn’t look near as good as the pictures let on.

  12. Kory February 12, 2009 at 11:46 pm #

    Just wanted to let you know that I love your blog and have therefore nominated it for a lemonade award on my blog!! Best of luck with the composting!!

  13. joanna February 12, 2009 at 10:08 pm #

    If you live in a condo, what are you going to use the compost for?

    • Lindsay February 12, 2009 at 10:53 pm #

      We have a small deck and thus I have a container garden. This last year we had four tomato plants and two green pepper plants and it worked well for just beginning.

  14. [email protected] February 12, 2009 at 8:38 pm #

    That’s funny. We just got one of those worm composting bins from Azure this week. My daughter Nicole was so excited, she set it up before she ate breakfast. Her idea is that the worms will multiply and she can feed them to her chickens. That’s what the Azure catalog said, that you can save money on chicken feed by feeding the worms to your chickens. (We’re also using it for garden compost too.)

  15. Organizing MOmmy (Jena) February 12, 2009 at 8:18 pm #

    I have an acre of land and have no clue what to do for a garden. Can I ask how old you are.. and like how do you know so much?? I’m aghast every time I read this blog. And do you plan to have a plot somewhere for a garden or are you going to garden off the deck in containers?

    • Lindsay February 12, 2009 at 10:56 pm #

      You make me laugh. I am 23 years old and simply enjoy learning! I am constantly cultivating the habit of learning new things. I guess you could say I love to read! We have a container garden on our deck and hopefully will be using some garden space at my family’s home as well.

  16. Becky February 12, 2009 at 3:31 pm #

    This was my new year goal this year. I am currently reading Let it Rot! by Stu Campbell and can’t wait for the snow to melt so I can get started.

  17. John February 12, 2009 at 1:32 pm #

    Just make sure you put the right types of scraps in; I believe the worms won’t handle fat/oil in large amounts, meat in large amounts, or citrus peel, along witha few other things to avoid. Otherwise, they are great!

  18. Ashley Fowler February 12, 2009 at 1:16 pm #

    I love your blog! Thank you for taking the time to share all of these great tips with us!

    I am just starting to recycle and to compost. I am currently trying to establish what is safe to compost and what isnt.

    Thank you again!

  19. Kerry February 12, 2009 at 12:22 pm #

    I am waiting for our set to arrive! I ordered it after I saw you mention it a few weeks ago. It has been over a week though, so I am getting nervous that it is either lost or they cant ship it. I have to try to get in touch with them. I am excited to get started. Like you, we really do not have any extra room in here at all!!!! I hope it works out well. I am curious to see how you do!

  20. MommyAmy February 12, 2009 at 12:20 pm #

    My parents gave me one of those big black yard composters for Christmas. It’s still over at their house right now, but I’m already reading up on what can/cannot go into it. I’m so excited to get it set up over at my place! My mom says it has worms and everything! How cool!

  21. Christina February 12, 2009 at 11:37 am #

    Thanks for sharing, I am still trying to convince my husband to get a compost. Hopefully this will help.
    Thanks, God Bless…

  22. Amber February 12, 2009 at 9:34 am #

    Composting time! I’m so ready for spring! :)

  23. Jeannie February 12, 2009 at 9:28 am #

    Thank you for sharing this as well, I am looking at getting a compost pile going on as well on the homestead we recently bought a few months back.

  24. Megan February 12, 2009 at 8:57 am #

    Please keep us posted with this one! I used to have a large bin outdoors, but now that we’re in a small apt., I’m limited. Hubby needs to see living proof that worms work. =)

  25. Charity February 12, 2009 at 8:55 am #

    Hello…I just stumbled across your blog and it’s so informative! I’m a stay at home mom of 4 and I’ve decided to make changes in our family to a more simple way of living. To be honest, lately I’ve become a little overwhelmed and have strayed back to a normal (convience) life. Do you have any advice, tips, or ideas for beginners on this journey to living more natural and simple? I live North East of Seattle, any places I should check into? Thanks for your wonderful blog…it wasn’t an accident that I found you. I think God usually knows what he’s doing, even when I don’t :)

  26. Laryssa @ Heaven In The Home February 12, 2009 at 7:19 am #

    Thanks for sharing! I’ve been thinking about doing this. Somehow a big outdoor compost pile sounds really difficult. We live in the woods so I’d have to get one of the large container composters to prevent animals from making a mess! The large ones are very expensive, so this may be just what I’m looking for!

  27. Ally February 12, 2009 at 6:31 am #

    I’ve got a can-o-worms in my garden. I have a little tub under my sink for all veggie waste which I take out daily. Now it’s winter the worms have really slowed down so I only check up and feed them once a week or so. The worm juice is fantastic – my clematis’ have never been better. I too am intending to use my compost for tomato growing this year. Good luck.