I don’t care how perfect you are. It doesn’t matter how much you care for the environment. You never have your personal economics down so well that you never have scraps left over from dinner preparations and leftovers.
Even though I am an advocate of no-till hugelkultur style gardening, which requires very little compost, I still agree that compost is black gardening gold. We need not to waste such a valuable asset, such as scraps, that can give us rich humus to use in our gardening efforts.
So what do we do with the scraps? Compost them, of course! I am going to tell you my current kitchen composting methods, what foods are good for composting, what foods are not, and what I did to build my own DIY compost container from a coffee can.
Foods that are great for composting are:
Foods that should stay our of your compost are:
These foods break down slowly, create an imbalance in nutrients, attract rodents, scavengers, and maggots, and will cause your compost bin to stink horribly.
Many people have a small bin in their kitchen that they use to compost using worms. They intend to keep their compost in the bin in their kitchen until it is completely composted. The bin that I made is meant to do the very same thing. It was built to do this, but I don’t.
I place my scraps into my compost can every meal. We have children, who have chores. One of their chores is to take the compost from the kitchen and dump it into the bin in the back yard. Before they take it back there, we add some water to the kitchens container, so we are adding the necessary amount of moisture to the composting process. We do this daily, and it really is just that simple.
What I build the compost bin from is a red plastic folgers can with black plastic airtight lid. I cut a fairly sizeable hole in the lid. I rough up the underside of the lid a little with a scouring pad and use silicon to stick a carbon filter to the underside of the lid.
If you are set against building a small bin, you could always just buy a 2.5 Gallon bin.
The carbon filter is extremely cheap if you buy a sheet of it at Lowes or Home Depot and cut it down to your needs. The main reason for the filter is to keep the odor IN the container.
As I already said, I built this bin to be usable through the composting life, but we really just use the bin as a collection bucket with a carbon filter screen to keep out flies.
Hopefully I have given you some ideas that are useful. Please don’t waste perfectly good scraps. Reuse them for compost when there is no further use for them (such as vegetable stock).
Enter the challenge for: