I'd like to start composting. Any tips on an inexpensive way to get started?
Firstly you need somewhere to put your kitchen scraps that's convenient. I use a 2.5 gallon square bin with a carbon filter and a handle and I keep it under my sink (Amazon has them: http://www.amazon.com/Large-Kitchen-Com … B0009LD3Y0
I then have an Earth Machine outside the back door of my house (again, Amazon has them: http://www.amazon.com/Orbis-Earth-Machi … amp;sr=1-1) that I empty the kitchen scraps into every day or so. In the summer, I empty it every day, without fail to stop getting lots of may flies in the kitchen.
The key to successful composting is no meat or bones. That way your compost won't smell. Turn it occasionally with a pitch fork or garden fork. You can also add grass clippings to moisten it or leaves if it seems to wet. If it's too dry, it won't turn to soil. If it's too wet, it will rot and be yucky.
The two links to Amazon aren't endorsements of buying them from there. I'd shop around. I got the kitchen container and earth machine through my town environmental group at a greatly discounted rate due to a grant they got from the state to supply these to the community.
I use a bin in the kitchen that's similar to (though smaller than) the one that TealGreen described. We bought it at an "organizer store" (I forget the name of the place.) I like the smaller size because it encourages me to take compost out more frequently!
As to the actual composter, I built dry-laid brick and block walls in the back yard to contain compost heaps. (The brick and block were 'leftovers,' so the compost heaps were more or less free.) There are two, probably about four feet by four feet.
Our volume of compost ingredients isn't enough to generate the high temperatures that true composters strive for, so it's really more of a worm bed, I suppose. That's one reason that we have two heaps: one's active, and the other one is 'aged' and can be drawn upon for planting soil.
As TealGreen says, avoid meat scraps and the like. We also avoid citrus peels, as we're advised that they don't break down well. Corn cobs do, eventually, but take quite a while. Eggshells are OK, though, once again, slower to break down than most.
We're pretty satisfied with our little system. Little fuss or muss, and it turns out beautiful black, rich soil (and lots of earthworms!)
Awesome! Thank you for the tips. My aunt composts, and has inspired me to think about ways to live a greener lifestyle. I have looked around Amazon for composting bins and ways to compost, but there seem to be a lot of options.
Thanks for pointing me in the right direction!
Sounds okay what you are doing already, and any waste household leftovers are good to use, for more info on composting, go to
http://beth-woodard.hubpages.com/hub/Th … composting
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