My husband made me a rotating compost bin. Here it is:
I proceeded to compost between April and December, about 8 months. I put everything in there that you should compost–grass clippings, moldy bread, egg shells, the remnants from beer making, coffee grounds, and so on. The compost never smelled bad, but it attracted a lot of bugs, to the point that in August, you couldn’t open the bin without flies swarming at your face. I knew this was part of the process of rot, but it was gross.
I stopped composting in December because, frankly, I was getting a little discouraged about the whole thing. I knew everything was rotting, but I didn’t see how it was turning into something for the garden. So I decided to let it rest for three months and see what the compost was like.
Fast forward to last weekend, with me deciding to empty my compost bin. When I began digging it out, I discovered that the ends of waste from my kitchen and yard had miraculously turned into a brown substance that looked exactly like dirt.
I couldn’t believe it. My kitchens ends had turned into this amazing, soil-like substance that bore almost no resemblance to their original state. It was so dark that it was black in some places.
I pulled 13 wheelbarrows of compost out of the bin. That is enough to thickly cover one of my 12X12 garden plots. Here it is after I spread the compost on the plot:
I would say we had 2-3 inches of compost on top of the soil, and all from 8 months of piling kitchen scraps in a wooden box.
After spreading the compost out, we dug it into the soil. Now I’m ready to plant.
I can’t stress enough how astounding this process was to me. When I was dumping moldy vegetable ends into the bin every week, I often thought, “this will never work.” How could that gross stuff ever be something I wanted around the roots of my plants?
Well, I was wrong. We produced all that compost in 8 months for almost no work, and it deeply enriched the soil of the garden. I am sold on compost now. I’ll never go back.
4 thoughts on “The Magic of Rot”
Wow, that’s amazing! I can’t wait to try this some day… when we have a garden 🙂
We have two bins, one a working bin-that we are constantly adding to-and a cooking bin-the one that is in the actual composting stage.The working one will be the cooking one the following year, after the cooking one is emptied.
Compost is an amazing thing, and there is very little that you cannot add to it…meats, fats, bones…that’s about it. To save yourself from the fruit fly swarms, everytime you add something wet, add a bit of dry on top. For example, when I empty my gallon bucket from the kitchen, I spread a bit of shredded newspaper overtop of it. You can also use peat or compost from last year. I like the newspaper because I’m going to recycle it anyways, and this way it helps out my garden.