I have finally started our composting! Sunday, Travis and I were out shopping and picked up a medium sized Brute Rubbermaid trashcan from Tractor Supply. I wanted to start with a smaller container to get the hang of it. I have wanted to start composting for at least two years so I am really excited!
Monday early was such a pretty morning that I decided to get to work outside. I had a plan for how to start, but I second-guessed myself. I googled it thinking I’d check my plan because usually Google is my first resource for any question I have. Bad idea on this subject though! Glancing over the articles Google brought up made me start second guessing everything I was planning to do. I stopped myself from panicking by knowing just who to contact to straighten my situation out. And the nice thing about being friends with bread vendors is that there is no having to wait until later in the morning to contact them if you need advice.
So I texted my friend who is my go-to guy for such things as compost (and conspiracy theories – haha) and he promptly called me. He assured me that Google was making me over think things. He said to start with some brown material, such as grass clippings or straw, and then some green material (which adds nitrates), such as kitchen scrapes or manure. Add a little water and put the lid on. He said to just throw stuff in as I get it and stir it occasionally. He told me that in his time composting, his best soil came from the compost he just threw together. He said getting complicated only made things happen like his soil’s ph level getting too high and other issues. Keep it simple was the final advice.
With these assurances, I went ahead with my plans. I tore some old newspaper into about one-inch strips and put them into the garbage can. I dampened them a little with water. Next I took the still tender parts of my tomato and pepper plants that withered while we were gone to Florida and tossed them in along with a few rotten tomatoes that were still on the vine. (My tomato plants hadn’t done well this year so I was ready for them to go.) I tore a little more newspaper and dampened it again. Now, I am throwing in kitchen scrapes from produce and egg shells (absolutely no meats go into compost!). I can’t wait to see what kind of soil comes from it. I’ll be occasionally be mixing it with a pitch fork and, every once in a while, dumping it out and shoveling it back in to get it the oxygen it needs. We shall see how it goes!