Thursday, October 4, 2012

Simple Composting

Oh the sweet soil that comes out of the compost bin!

Soil.  The very foundation of the garden.  The idea that we can control soil, we can actually make soil, is inspiring, especially when you keep it simple

A compost bin can be as complicated or as simple as you like, especially when you start to get into carbon:nitrogen ratios.  I use a couple simple tips when I compost:
  • keep the carbon:nitrogen ration about 30:1  - that means about 2 handfuls of green stuff to every handful of brown that goes in.  Even if you mess up, you will still get compost, so don't get too hung up on the details.  
  • Make your bin/pile at least 3 feet by 3 feet by 3 feet to keep the pile nice and hot inside
  • Keep the pile ventilated - turn it, or put some wood through it to create spaces for ventilation
  • Keep it damp - not sopping wet, just damp
  • Compost needs little microorganisms, so add soil or build your bin right on the ground
If done correctly, a compost bin does not need to be an eye sore, or stinky, or even buggy.   Keep some brown materials to throw on food scraps, and keep the meaty stuff out of the bin to deter animals. Keeping a small container next to your kitchen sink helps you remember to put the scraps right inside.

There are countless compost bins you can buy in the store, and many of these do a great job keeping the smell and bugs to a minimum, but it is also easy to make your own.  A simple google search will show you hundreds of designs.

How do you compost? I shared at:
Small Footprint Families 
Homestead Revival Barn Hop

The Chicken ChickBlogfest


  1. We have a large bin, similar to yours. It pretty much looks after itself :)

  2. I made a round one with hardware cloth but I wonder if it is big enough to get hot enough in the middle. I wanted to buy a compost thermometer but they wanted $20 for one. Thought that was high. When I pull some out of the bottom it is always rich and brown.

  3. Hi Gretchen, I'm Anne from Life on the Funny Farm ( visiting from the Fresh Eggs Daily Blog Fest.

    Thanks for the great tips on a compost bin! I've never gotten around to making one yet, so this was helpful.

    Anyway, it’s nice to "meet" you. I hope you can pop over to my blog and say hi sometime if you get the chance.

  4. This is great! Everyone should have a compost bin, even if only some worms in the pantry! I'd love it if you linked this post up at Small Footprint Fridays, a new sustainable living linkup!

    1. Thanks for the invite - I just visited your site!

  5. I like the DIY approach to composting; my chickens do all of the aeration for me, which is great!

    Thanks for linking up at the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week and I hope we see you back again next time!

    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick

  6. Very nice job. Visiting from the Blog Hop at Clever Chicks