I always thought composting was a handy way to condense garden waste, but since the lock-down, I have been taking a bit more time to compost normal kitchen waste.
There were probably two threads that made me do this, the first was many non-essential waste collections were cancelled where I live; dry recycling, glass and garden waste were all stopped quite quickly after lock-down. We didn't know how bad things were going to get, so it seemed prudent to make as little "dirty" waste as we could, just in case regular waste collections stopped.
To make this work, I had to do something with our existing compost bin, that had been filled with autumn leaves over several seasons, and otherwise forgotten about. I emptied it out and wondered what to do with the brown stuff, I sprinkled some over the beds where my shrubs were, but some still remained. There is a low spot in my lawn, that has been there for some time and kind of bugs me from time to time. So I thought to bury whats left of this annoying brown stuff under that patch, raise it up and make room for kitchen waste.
Well a few weeks passed and I suddenly noticed, that patch of grass was growing like crazy! Seriously it must have been double the height of the surrounding grass; could there be more to compost than waste management?!
THE KITCHEN PAIL
So now my interest is seriously piqued, if a bunch of old leaves can do that, then maybe we need to boost this process up with some kitchen wastes that are going to really make some powerful compost. We have a little plastic pail by the regular bin:
^^ The Kitchen Pail: coffee grits, tea-leaves, toilet roll holders, kitchen towel and some hibiscus pruning
It all goes in there now, even egg-shells can get composted. Its unfortunate but sometimes, even though we try not to, the odd kitchen ingredients go to waste, especially soft fruits, but at least now they are feeding the amazing little fungi, worms, flies and other assorted creatures that convert this annoying waste, into wonder-stuff!
I know some people have space for special hot composters, but we just have a basic bin that does its magic over time, its been going for about a month now and as you can see the bottom is really staring to get going as the weather is warming up:
^^ Assorted twigs, some old grapes and yes even shredded letters
As things are going, some of the contents are really becoming un-identifiable now, while some bits are going slower, other bits are decomposing at a furious rate. Its bizarre, but I'm really interested to keep a regular eye on this process, I want to see what happens and how fast it happens.
So if you want to check in on my blog, I'll keep a weekly diary of this detritus as it converts to what I hope, is more garden-gold (but I forgive you if you don't).