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10 Exciting Reasons Why I Love to Compost

Updated on August 26, 2017
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Sherry has been using the same compost bin since 2009 and is adding to it in 2016. She takes pride in not using the kitchen sink disposer.

I Am Still Enjoying My Compost Bin

This is a list of ten fun activities to enjoy while maintaining a compost bin. Get a kick out of the witch's brew pot in the corner of the backyard.

I spotted a book about composting several months ago and I have been wanting to see it. I ordered it from Amazon and now I know even more about composting, and I can tell my adult son the critters in the bin are not that scary. There is no bad bacteria or bugs in it that would harm body or limb. In fact, the bugs are very entertaining.

Can you dig up some fun out of a compost bin?

Enjoying the Compost Bin

I've had this exact model for eight years and have experienced no problems with it. Looks like I will get some additional years of service out of it too. The tower is ideal because it has no mechanical parts to break down.

Some may think their pets would destroy the bin. Put a chain link fence around it or similar closure to keep them out.

Garden Compost Bin -- 10.2 Cubic Feet Capacity
Garden Compost Bin -- 10.2 Cubic Feet Capacity

The stuff added to this bin turns out a bit lumpy. The final product depends on the material added. If everything is chopped up into smaller pieces get a more uniform compost.

 
Compost Pails & Crocks
Compost Pails & Crocks

Reason No. 1 Compost Pails & Crocks

A Vessel for the Kitchen Scraps

The kitchen scraps crock was a personal quest. Why get the conventional bucket from the Internet? At first I had a beautiful handmade pottery bowl.

At this time, I am using a plastic popcorn bucket I got as a party favor. The original handle has broken off. I tied on a piece of cord from the waist of an old pair of pants.

I use a silicon suction lid to cover it. The lid works very good for cutting any odors that would otherwise fill the kitchen. Silicone Lids - Microwave Covers, Food Covers, Bowl Covers. Suction Lids use for Pan or Skillet Lids. Boxed Gift Set. (Set of 5)


Reason No. 2 Composting Gets Me Outside

Once the kitchen bucket is filled I am sure to get a walk outside. A retiree crafting at a desk or visiting the Internet may not get out of the house if activities get too absorbing.

Our climate is very mild and I take my bucket outside almost everyday.

The dog gets excited and I get a walk with him in the backyard.

Reason No. 3 Composting is Good Exercise

The additional exercise of turning the compost for aeration is an excellent upper body workout.

When it is time to harvest compost, shoveling and placing the amendment in the garden is rewarding and very good exercise. Not even boring.

earwig in the compost
earwig in the compost

Reason No. 4 The Compost Bin is Interesting and Exciting

My plastic compost bin is like a changing chameleon. A science project in the corner of the yard.

It is interesting to see what works, how it is transforming and how fast. Heat, mold, fungus and bugs are some of the changing activity in the composting bin.

In the photo to the right is the earwig. Even though their name suggests getting in your ears, they do not. They are about an inch long. Earwigs spend their lives in debris and come out at night to eat aphids and small insects.

These bugs are good for the garden and do not damage plants.

Compost mouse den
Compost mouse den

One day different visitors than bugs occupyed the tower. The Beagle and Jack Russell were going crazy. They wanted in the bin and started to dig crazily. I opened the bottom gate and started removing material with the turning fork. Soon 3 rats shot out in three different directions. My daughter came out and told me to stop screaming.

Later I found an expired rat in front of the compost bin. The dogs were triumphant. Now that a rat was lying in such a sad state they could care less.

There has not been such excitement since, but some days I notice field mice have visited the night before. The evidence is short trails and snug looking dens on the surface of the compost. They take advantage of the natural composting heat and the "tasty" materials when they like. They come and go in the dead of night. I never see them during the day.

At top right is a small two inch wide den from a mouse.

Reason No. 5

Use the Bin for Dissolving Important Papers

The paper from the shredder machine does not to go to the city trash. Every piece and printed letter goes in the bin.

As seen on TV: there is a software program that can put shredded documents back together again. Blue Meanies or deep covert organizations can reassemble millions of little shreds.

Put the paper strips and dust from the shredder into the compost bin and in three days, see not a trace of that paper left.

The paper is like adding dried leaves, it's carbon the bin needs.

Backyard compost
Backyard compost

Reason No. 6

Free Soil Amendment



I am so happy to have mulch or soil amendment handily available and free for the taking.

Reason No. 7

Helping the Environment

The good feeling of doing a small part for the environment. Saving landfill space and creating only CO2 instead of the more harmful methane.

My 94 year old mother has also joined the effort. She saves her kitchen scraps in a sealed bag in the refrigerator till I pick them up every Tuesday. She does not have good water pressure for the disposal and this arrangement is working fine.

Recycled Starbucks Grounds
Recycled Starbucks Grounds

Reason No. 8

Use Free Stuff From From A Business

I get to relieve Starbucks of a bag of used coffee grounds. I also get some coffee filters and occasionally banana peels. All good stuff for the bin. The stores give out 5 pound bags. It is moist and always starts lots of gray matter, a good sign that materials are breaking down. I get a bag once a month, adding it over the course of a few days.

I was concerned about acidity but the acid is removed during the brewing process. I will pick up the bag more often now.

Reason No.9

A Source of Family Conversations

Our compost bin generates family conversation. Many times it is my lead with the discussions, but sometimes I am surprised that others in the house are interested in what is happening in the corner of the yard.

Also, sparks conversation from visitors. I always talk up the adventures. I do not want newbies of this technology to think it is a scary thing because of critters, smells and bugs. It just produces amendment for good dirt. I never have noxious odors.

Reason No.10

Compost Critters by Bianca Lavies - A Book Review

This is the only book I found dedicated to the bugs of the compost heap. It is written and photographed by former National Geographic staff photographer Bianca Lavies.

She has written several other books for children. I believe this one is out of print. All the volumes available on Amazon are used. The one I received is a former public library book.

It is illustrated with big close up photos of the bugs living in backyard compost. One bug I started seeing in my compost bin I found out from this book is a crustacean, from the shrimp or lobster family.

Compost Critters
Compost Critters

If you are the home schooler this book and a compost heap or bin would be a wonderful science project. According to Amazon the book is written for the 4-8 year old. The information is also useful for older children and the adult that needs some answers.

I learned new facts. I would have enjoyed some detailed captions for the pictures. The next time I watch my 5 year old nephew I will have the perfect book and "dirt" box to show him.

This book is well worth the used price you will be paying for it. Update: a/o 5/30/12 I found 1 copy for 1 cent.

 

Have You Started Composting for Home School?

As a home schooler have you started a compost bin for a learning project?

See results

Bibliography

Lavies, Bianca. Compost Critters. Text and Photographs by Bianca Lavies. New York, New York: Dutton Children's Books, 1993.

Milne, Lorus and Margery. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Insects and Spiders. New York, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc, 1992.

For more information also see How-to Start Composting at Home

© 2010 Sherry Venegas

10 Fun Facts of a Compost Bin - Who works the compost bin in your house?

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    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 3 months ago from Houston, Texas

      We have composted for many years now. I never thought about using our shredded papers in the compost. I wonder about the ink on the paper and how that might affect the soil? The tip about getting coffee grounds from Starbucks is great.

    • techygran profile image

      Cynthia 12 months ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

      Great article about the joys of composting! I am going to recommend that our paper shreds go in there too! I'm tweeting this link!

    • paperfacets profile image
      Author

      Sherry Venegas 19 months ago from La Verne, CA

      Thanks Barbara for the book recommendation. I love knowing all the details and chemistry that makes the compost.

    • profile image

      BarbaraCasey 19 months ago

      Here in Florida, I've become a fan of David the Good's (David Goodman) gardening books. You might enjoy reading his book called "Compost Everything: The Good Guide to Extreme Composting." I'm going to take a look at the bin you're using. I don't have an acre where I can "hide" my compost pile ;-)

    • profile image

      Chuck 3 years ago

      i have tried a couple of coospmt bins. To be honest i have gotten the best results just making a pile and leaving it, turning it every couple of weeks. Two drawbacks in my opinion of bins is air circulation and creating a barrier for insects to enter. i had a black coospmt bin which from what i read was a popular model. The contents never got hot. This baffled me for a long time then i decided to just make a pile in a sunny area. after a good rain it gets piping hot.

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 3 years ago from United States

      You always give us such awesome details! I love that! I did have to laugh a bit over the field mice coming at night. I have to admit though, the rats would be a bit too much even for me :)

    • profile image

      Ruthi 3 years ago

      I was delighted to find a link to your witch's brew composting article via the Review This! blog post by The Recycler Contributor on Squidoo. You really do make composting sound like fun! I love your handmade bowl for kitchen scraps to go in the brew pot.

    • GregoryMoore profile image

      Gregory Moore 4 years ago from Louisville, KY

      This is great for making mulch to use around your own home. I reuse it in my garden and flowerbeds.

    • Craftypicks profile image

      Lori Green 5 years ago from Las Vegas

      The best compost bin I ever made was by accident. I put a bin of sunflower seeds at the base of a tree that had some baby squirrels in it. I drilled some holes in the bottom in case it rained and it could drain. As they ate I kept filling it up but never emptied it. About a year later I went to clean it out and had earthworms as big as snakes and the best black soil I ever saw.

    • orange3 lm profile image

      orange3 lm 6 years ago

      I love to compost! Starbucks grounds for your garden are one of my favorite. They will give you what they have even if there not out in the can, you just have to ask. I also love to compost my shredded paper.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 6 years ago from Central Florida

      I used to compost and didn't have any rat encounters. I wonder if you sprinkled a little lime inside the bin if it would discourage rats.

      It is quite satisfying to get the output from the compost bin to pep up my garden. It's the best.

    • PNWtravels profile image

      Vicki Green 6 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

      Compost is so great for improving garden soils. Throwing away that which can be composted is such a waste. Thanks for pointing out how easy it can be and all of the benefits of composting! Blessed by a SquidAngel

    • PromptWriter profile image

      Moe Wood 6 years ago from Eastern Ontario

      We compost the basics. We're very excited about the prospect of our town doing roadside composting which would mean even more material we could compost instead of sending to the landfill.

    • Grasmere Sue profile image

      Sue Dixon 7 years ago from Grasmere, Cumbria, UK

      I love compost- it makes me feel so please that I'm not wasting anything that could go back on my garden.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Very cool lens! I agree on many points you make and have taken away some great info regarding composting! Thanks so much :) Simple Compost

      Straw Bale Compost Bin

    • newbizmau profile image

      Maurice Glaude 7 years ago from Mobile, AL

      We compost at home but don't have a fancy composter like you. We do it the old fashion way which is digging a whole. I like yours better. Everyone hates going to take the garbage out around here. I would be so grateful if we had one of those.

    • WhiteOak50 profile image

      WhiteOak50 7 years ago

      I love composting! There is something wonderful about seeing that rich dark soil knowing you had a hand in making it. Love your compost bin also!! "Blessed by a SquidAngel"

    • puzzlerpaige profile image

      puzzlerpaige 7 years ago

      I'm another composter. It's one of my favorite parts of gardening. I never know what will be growing in the compost this week. It's so fertile that any seeds that get in there, well...sprout. Some say don't throw seeds in, I say live a little. Fun to read. Came by way of Lensroll.