Friday, July 19, 2019

How to Master the Art of Composting


While your body may not like the hot temperatures we are experiencing this month, your compost pile sure does! Summer is not only a great time for composting, but it is also a great time to LEARN about composting. If you’re a compost enthusiast looking to deepen your knowledge, join us at the Civic Garden Center for our Master Composter Certification program. 

This year, the class will meet Thursdays in August (1, 8, 15, 22) from 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Through a combination of lectures, demonstrations, and field trips, attendees are trained to become composting ambassadors in their communities. 



When CityBeat heard we are the only organization to offer this type of training in the region, they stopped by to learn more and explore our outdoor composting classroom. Read their article here and click through the pictures for a lowdown on how composting works.

Ready to sign up? Follow these two easy steps: 
1) Register and learn more about the course on our website
2) Complete a simple application and pre-test that will be emailed to you once you register online.

Spots are filling up fast, don’t miss your chance to sign up! Contact Kylie Johnson at kjohnson@civicgardencenter.org for more details.


Guest Blogger Kylie Johnson from the Civic Garden Center

Monday, July 1, 2019

Compost Bin Sale!


Need to update your composting supplies? 

Know a friend who wants to start composting? 

Need a good gift? 

On August 10th, 2019 Hamilton County Recycling and Solid Waste District will host a Compost Bin Sale at St.Xavier High School from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. This is a great time to start that second (or third or fourth…) compost bin and maybe add some tools to make it easier. Here is what you can purchase:

Compost Bin $45
This 11 cubic feet bin is sold as one piece and is made from 100% recycled plastic. The bin includes a twist locking lid and has side ventilation slots.


Kitchen Collector $10
A 1.9 gallon plastic container to collect your food scraps to carry out to your compost bin. 




Aerator $10
Solid steel winged aerator is designed to open pockets of air within the compost pile.




Thermometer $10
Mercury free, bi-metal compost thermometer.

Mesh Base $10
The mesh base sits under your compost bin to deter unwanted animals from tunneling into your bin


All items will be sold on-site the day of the event, while supplies last. Pre-order HERE to guarantee your purchase.

Are you a Hamilton County, Ohio resident? Interested in a $10 off coupon for the compost bin? Attend one of our upcoming “Composting 101” Webinars for a basic composting refresher course and ask your composting questions! Webinars will last approximately 30 minutes. Webinars are July 9th, 2019 at noon or July 31st at 7 p.m., register here.

Have questions about the Compost Bin Sale? Contact Angela Rivera at angela.rivera@hamilton-co.org.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Time to Turn: A Real Life Compost Story

Guest post from Brad Miller

Cooler temperatures this spring and a vacation resulted in me turning the compost pile later this spring than usual. When I finally got around to it, I experienced a little good and bad.

First: the bad news. As I started digging into the wet, dense center of the pile, a rotten egg, sulfur odor greeted my nostrils. Oops! What caused this problem? A portion of my pile went anaerobic because I had not turned my pile to get oxygen into it. Anaerobic composting happens without the presence of oxygen (think swamps). This type of composting is super slow and as my nostrils can attest- stinky.



But, all is not lost. An anaerobic compost pile will quickly switch to aerobic (air-loving) composting with a good amount of turning. I also incorporated some new dry leaves generously gifted to me by a coworker.

Second: the good news. As I turned the pile I encountered a healthy community of bugs and worms living in the composting material. In other good news, all the recent rains added plenty of moisture so I didn’t need to drag the hose down to the pile (of course, it is possible all of that rain contributed to the pile going anaerobic, but I’m an optimist).

Final lesson learned: next year, I will remember to turn my pile around the first week of May.

Brad Miller spreading compost near our office.


Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Compost Like an Egyptian: Harvesting Vermicompost


Did you know that you can channel the ancient Egyptians when you’re ready to harvest your vermicompost? It’s true! Here’s how you do it:

Step 1: On a sunny day, set your worm bin, a tarp, and a container for finished vermicompost outside. If the weather is bad, you can do this inside in a bright room.




Step 2: Using your hands, scoop out handfuls of vermicompost, sorting out any visible pieces of food as you go.




Step 3: Shape each handful of vermicompost into a pyramid—more surface area is better!




Step 4: Wait ten minutes. Your worms, like mummies, will migrate to the base of the pyramid, away from the light.

Step 5: Remove top and sides of pyramid and sort out any worms you find, returning them to the bin. The worm-free compost can be placed in your container for finished vermicompost (I used an old coffee container).

Add caption



Step 6: Once your pyramid is mostly worms, return it to the bin.




You’re done! Your finished compost is ready to use, and your worms are ready to get back to work in fresh bedding making vermicompost out of your fruit and vegetable scraps.

Are you ready to dig in the dirt and take your composting skills to the next level? Join us for the Worm Bin Composting Workshop, hosted by our friends at the Civic Garden Center, on Thursday, June 13 at 6:30 p.m. Cost is $15 per person. For more details, and to register, please visit the CivicGarden Center.

Binny about to bust into a rap.
Guest Blogger, Susan Jorgensen (right)


Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Spring Compost Tips


Compost springs eternal - finally! The temperature is climbing and the sun is shining. I’m your friendly Backyard Compost Pile and it’s time to get this party started. Like the brown bear, I’m emerging from hibernation and I’m hungry! Here are some tips to keep me productive.

  • Turn me please! My contents have slowly compacted over the winter. Turning and stirring those brown leaves creates air pockets so I can breathe. 
  • Feed me! If you choose to rake or mower-bag your grass trimmings, deposit them into your compost pile. To be productive, I need a nice mix of brown and green material.
  • Give me snacks! That’s right, a daily snack of fruit and veggie scraps makes for a healthy compost pile.
  • Let nature run its course:  the springtime pattern of April showers and sunny days helps me grow.

      Check out this post for more Spring Composting Tips.






Guest Blogger Joy Landry, Public Relations Specialist

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

A Genius Composting Trick


My husband recently had a clever idea that resulted in me having an easier time composting through these cold winter months. As we were cleaning out the basement after Christmas, he unearthed an old lidded garbage can that we used next to our diaper changing table. We have kept this “baby” stainless steel garbage can even though our children have been out of diapers for years.

“We should use this in the kitchen to collect scraps for composting,” he declared. During the winter my love of composting battles with my dislike of cold wet weather quite often. I usually end up with a situation looking something like this:

I think it's time to take the compost out.


“That is brilliant!” 

I immediately replaced my much loved but much smaller kitchen collector with the little can. Not only does it match our garbage can and offer more space for scraps, but the new can has a foot pedal so I do not have to lift the lid if both my hands are full. This is especially helpful for my children who always manage to lose half their orange peels as the try to take the lid off the old bucket.

Matching garbage and compost cans: check.
Groovy kitchen floor: check.


An added bonus: it has a plastic insert that I can just lift out to take out the compost.

Although beautiful, I am not sorry our snowy days are behind us.

Have you ever "repurposed" something and loved it even more?


Monday, March 18, 2019

Hippity-Hoppity on Over to a Compost Seminar


Spring is coming and the sun is shining! I feel as energized as a bunny to get outside again.

It’s also time for our annual “Get the Dirt on Backyard Composting” seminars. These opportunities are free as we spread the love of compost. 





Organic matter (compost) is soil’s life-blood, giving needed nutrients and perfect conditions for plants to grow, thrive and reproduce (just like bunnies)! After all, anyone who has held soft, black, and crumbly soil knows it’s teaming with life.

Need a refresher? Or do you just want more of your friends and family composting?  Hop on over to our website to get more information and to sign up for one of these seminars. Registration is happening now.