Friday, June 1, 2012

Missy's Homestead Part 4 - Trash that is not really Trash equals Compost

Compost has always intrigued me.  

When I was living in NYC I was not as diligent at composting my organic materials as I could have been.  I could have used a small indoor composter or I could have just as easily brought my organic matter down to my husbands restaurant where they had a company come and pick up their organic material from the kitchen.  And even still I didn't compost.  What was wrong with me?
Was I Lazy? Uninterested?  I am still not totally sure.  I just really never thought about it.  

Well now I can honestly say that I think about it.  I think about it all the time.  And I try my very best to save and compost anything that can be composted.  In our backyard, out by the garden, we have a black trash can looking device that lets us dump our organic matter in the top and pull out fresh compost from the bottom.  I had never really seen these devices before I moved to Sonoma County.  I new people had them  but we never composted as a child and no one I knew had owned one.  I was a little concerned at first that it would smell or that I would think using this freshly made "compost" would be gross.  But much to my surprise the compost bin never really smells and every couple months I can't wait to use my fresh homemade compost on my garden.  I do have to say that we get our fair share of little flying bugs from time to time but I think that is very normal.  The only bad thing that I have to say about our particular composter is that it is not totally rodent proof.  I think that the next time I buy one I would get one that was suspended above the ground and that I could spin to mix the compost up.  We have since had to rodent proof our composter since the time I opened it up and there were some very happy creatures who were extremely startled after I started screaming like a little girl, dropping my compost bowl, and running away.  (What happened to me out here in the country?! I never screamed at those rats when they were chasing me down the Subway platform?!!!?)

I try to make the composting as intuitive as possible because when you get in the groove of cooking and cleaning you can often unknowingly forget at throw out items that are easily compostable.  I keep a small tin bowl on the side of my sink and anytime I need to discard some organic matter I throw it in the bowl.  When the bowl gets full I walk out and dump it right in the compost bin.  I was shocked when I started to learn that you can compost so many things you would think needed to be thrown out. Like Egg Shells, Coffee Filters, Paper Towels, plain cooked pasta etc.  Follow this link for a longer list of things you thought you couldn't compost but can:

Another option that I was thrilled to find out about since living here in Sonoma County was that even if you don't have a compost bin at your house you can put your compostable items in a paper bag and put them in your trash green bin.  The county will now recycle and compost that matter for you.  I thought that was such a great idea that I sometimes do that with my materials to help support such a great service that the county is now offering to the residence.  Every little bit of consuming/reusing waste that you can do rather than creating more is good for our earth.

For those of you fabulous people that still live in the empire state and particularly in my favorite town: NYC, here is a link that you can follow about composting options in NYC.

Recycle more, Waste Less.

More to come and Cheers for now!

Melissa J

P.S. I am contemplating Chickens and Bees in the next 9 months...holy moly homestead batman

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