composting

4 Composting Options That Anyone Can Do!

It’s fall and all of those leaves, grass clippings, and spent flowers are looking for a new home. Watch my newest video on composting where I share four composting options that make even the apartment dweller say “I too can compost!”

4 Composting Options:

1. Yard waste bin

This is by far the easiest way to compost. Put grass clippings, leaves, spent flowers and more in your local yard waste bin and let some one else do the composting for you! Depending on your area, various items may be put in your yard waste bin. Here in the Pacific Northwest we are very fortunate to have state of the art composting facilities so we are able to put everything from raw meat to weeds into our bins. Check with your local yard waste company to see what they accept.

2. Above Ground Compost Tumbler

Compost tumbler’s come in many shapes and sizes and, if your handy, making your own isn’t too difficult. Above ground compost bins solve a myriad of composting problems. They are rodent proof, your dog can’t scrounge through them and eat things he shouldn’t, and neighborhood cats don’t have any temptations to use it as a litter box, and best of all, you don’t have to try to turn the compost with a pitchfork or shovel. Above ground compost tumblers are simple to use, clean and efficient.

I say in the video that I bought mine for around $100. After finding the price online at Costco I think I must have paid more like $130. Here’s a link to the exact one I own above ground compost tumbler like shown in video. I think the cost is more online because of shipping. I bought mine at the warehouse.

3. Worm Bin

Worm bins are a great way to compost your kitchen scraps. Be sure not to put anything in with fat, protein or a lot of salt. Banana peels, apple cores, strawberry tops, leftover oatmeal and rice, spent flowers, leaves and coffee grounds all make fabulous worm food. Worm bins can be small or large depending on your needs. If you live in a condo and only have a small deck, then follow these instructions for a worm bin that won’t take up much space. However, worm bins are great for anyone as the dirt they produce is described as black gold. It’s rich, nutritious and grows fabulous food, flowers and plants.

*A side note. Worms may not eat quickly when you first get them so you may not want to put in as many food scraps as you’ll be able to later on. If you put too many food scraps in the worms won’t eat fast enough and the food will rot and attract flies (see my upcoming blooper video for an example)

4. Chickens

Last but certainly not least, chickens. Chickens are by far my favorite composting option. They’ll eat anything from protein to weeds. Just be sure not to feed them any moldy food as they may inhale the spores and it can cause illness or death. That being said, if you happen to give them your Halloween jack o’ lantern (my chickens LOVE pumpkins) and it starts to mold before they eat it all, don’t fret. The worms and slugs will start eating the moldy parts and then the chickens can eat the protein rich worms and lay luscious, golden eggs for your family to enjoy. The circle of life is so apparent with chickens.

Manure is a useful by-product of having chickens. It is considered very “hot” however and needs at least 9 months to cool off so it doesn’t kill the plants you are trying to fertilize. Case in point; when I first got my chickens I “fertilized” my rhubarb, a very hardy plant, with some fresh chicken manure. It was dead within days and I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with it. Well, I’d killed it for that season but the next year I had a thriving happy rhubarb plant. If it had been anything other than rhubarb it would, most likely, have been a goner for good!

Whether you have a deck, an acre or 40 acres I hope that you’ll find the joy of composting in your own backyard.

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  • Chief Health Nut

    Yes, if you pay any attention to my teeth you’ll see that I had lipstick on them! Perfect for halloween.

  • Kim from Milwaukee

    Very Nice Article … I must say. Before Reading this Article , I was aware of Paper (newspaper especially) only… as a Product which is biodegradable… but now I know 4 more. Thanks for such a Nice article:-) Please Keep it up.

  • Anonymous

    Give the above ground option a try if you want to create amazing soil for your garden! It’s clean, doesn’t attract things and won’t do your growing veggies wrong.

    Let me know how it works out!

  • April

    I’ve been worm binning for three years now and it’s the easiest thing to do. One tip that I’d like to share is that if your bin gets too stinky, it probably means that you need more ventilation holes. I’ve had that happen and a few mores holes did the trick.

    Thanks for sharing these composting tips.

  • Milktoast

    does anyone here know anything about composting tea? I’ve heard it is literaly using hot water for you compost, but I’m no familar with how that is done an what the benefit is.

  • Anonymous

    I love what my husband said when I was telling him about compost tea “You mean people actually drink that stuff?” Can you tell he thinks I’m a bit out there when it comes to my compost!?

    Compost tea is an elixer that you make using your compost. It helps your compost go further and can be sprayed on or poured around the base in place of any type of fertilizer or chemical. Here’s a couple of links to help your get started. http://www.finegardening.com/how-to/articles/brewing-compost-tea.aspx and http://www.dep.state.pa.us/dep/deputate/airwaste/wm/recycle/tea/tea1.htm.

    That being said, a worm bin can also produce wonderful compost tea. You can either buy a special worm bin tea maker or follow the instructions (on the link I provide within the article) on how to make your own worm bin, that also produces and captures the tea that the worms make. If you don’t want to make your own you can sometimes find it at a Farmer’s Market. However, it usually goes for around $5-6 per gallon (versus free if you use your own kitchen scraps and worm bin).

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  • Farrah

    My 4 year old has the playmobile people and farm animals out and she is expalaining how to compost, needless to say she loved your video and so did I. Great Blog.

    Farrah

  • Anonymous

    How cool is that!! Thanks so much Farrah!

    -Alison

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