Our fascination with composting started on a trip to Seattle years ago. We visited a relative there that had a composting barrel in the back yard and she composted everything possible. That was the first real interaction we had with the process and we loved everything about it.
About three years prior to the picture above we built our compost location. After talking about it for years we decided to just make it happen and started looking around at what we had to use. We used old wooden pallets, some misc wood boards and fence material we had in the shed.
It's amazing how the decomposition process beaks everything down into such small piles. We've never taken any of the compost out. After adding everything imaginable for three years you can see how much it breaks down. The pile on the left is where we started and are now working towards utilizing it with some planting this summer. The pile in the middle was started later and the pile on the right we just started this year.
Just about any food product waste from the kitchen, except meat and dairy, go into the compost. Over the last three years that is a whole lot of volume that didn't go into the trash can and subsequently a land fill. Fruit and vegetable scraps, egg shells, various leftovers, coffee grinds, paper towels, stale bread and just about anything else that goes bad is kept in a bin on the kitchen counter that we dump into the compost bin almost daily.
We also add weeds we pull, potted plants that die, some grass clippings, and the ashes from the barbecue grill. We don't have very many trees that drop big leaves, so I think we lack in being able to add an ideal amount of dead brown material. But that doesn't seem to affect how productive the compost piles are in breaking things down.
When the weather is dry we add water with the hose and we stir up the piles about once a week. A good quantity of earth worms have made a home over the years too. There is nothing fancy about it, just getting started and away you go. The microbes that break everything down are already in nature and they get started doing what they do best. Moisture and oxygen is what the microbial bacteria thrive on to decompose the waste. We don't over think it, we just do it!
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