Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Doggone Composting!

Guest Blogger: Joy Landry, Communications Specialist, with a little help from her furry and feathered friends!

As summer approaches, those readers who have dogs may be experiencing flying fur as their pups shed in preparation of hotter days to come. My Labrador Golden Retriever cross is shedding with every step she takes. The solution is to take her outside daily for a good brushing. 

Quite by accident, I discovered a natural reuse opportunity for my dog’s fur. As I was brushing her out recently, the breeze picked up errant furs and spread them around the driveway. Within minutes, the house sparrows fluttered down and started collecting the dog hair for their nests

We had more fur than the birds needed. So what to do with the excess? I put it in my compost pile. That’s right, your dog’s fur is an organic material perfectly acceptable for composting. Don’t take my word for it – even the American Kennel Club endorses composting fur!

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Hamilton County Compost Bin Sale


Happy International Compost Awareness Week!

Need a new compost bin or know someone who is searching for a new one?   Look no further!  Hamilton County R3Source will be hosting its annual Compost Bin Sale in exactly one month!

Day: Saturday, June 4th

Time: 8:00am-1:00pm

Location: Colerain Township Senior and Community Center

Address: 4300 Springdale Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45251


Preorder your new compost bin on the Compost Bin Sale Website and it will be ready for you to pick up on June 4th.


If you or a friend would like to receive a special discount code for $20 off a compost bin, we encourage you all to attend one of our upcoming Compost Seminars!


In-Person Seminars

May 12 – 6:30pm @ Reading City Hall 

May 17 – 7:00pm @ Forest Park Senior Center 


Here is the link to register for an In-Person Seminar. 


Virtual Seminar

May 31 – 12:00pm on Zoom


Here is the link to the register for the Virtual Seminar. 


Please share this information with everyone you know!  It could be a sign for someone who has been considering composting to take the leap and get started. 😊

Guest Blogger Elise Erhart

Friday, March 18, 2022

Compost Seminars are Back!

Those of you who read this blog are most likely familiar with composting, so this is a request to spread the word to all your family, friends, and coworkers that our annual Get the Dirt on Backyard Composting seminars are back.

We are excited to announce that we will have in-person seminars for the first time in 2 years!  There will also be virtual seminars for those who prefer that option.

Seminars will be 1 hour with a presentation and Q&A time. We will discuss the benefits of composting, how to start, how to properly maintain the compost, how to troubleshoot any problems, and how to use the compost at home. All attendees will receive a free kitchen scrap collector, a magnet, and a composting booklet!


In-Person Backyard Composting Seminars

  • April 14 – 6:30pm @ California Woods Nature Center
  • April 21 – 6:30pm @ Colerain Senior & Community Center
  • April 26 – 6:30pm @ Civic Garden Center
  • May 12 – 6:30pm @ Reading City Hall
  • May 17 – 7:00pm @ Forest Park Senior Center

 Here is the link to the registration page for In-Person Seminars.


Virtual Backyard Composting Seminars

  • May 3 – 6:30pm on Zoom
  • May 31 – 12:00pm on Zoom

Here is the link to the registration page for Virtual Seminars.


Please share this information with anyone you know so that we can encourage and inspire the whole county to start composting (and to do it the right way)!


Guest Blogger Elise Erhart


Friday, October 29, 2021

Did the Boogeyman Snatch Your Compost Blogger?

When I was a kid, few things were creepier to me than the idea of a formless creature lurking under my bed ready to snatch me away to a nameless place never to be seen again. Maybe that was the scariest thing about the boogeyman - what does he look like? He can be lurking in any dark quiet place, just watching and waiting… 

But, alas, the Boogeyman never did make an appearance in my childhood, and I can’t use him as an excuse for the absence of this blog either. I’ve just been really, really busy with other waste reduction stuff. So sorry for blogging sabbatical, my fellow composters. I still very much care about you and composting! 

Since I’m here to continue the great Halloween blogging tradition, let me give you composting tips straight from the Boogeyman himself. 

  1. Be patient: if the Boogeyman can wait for years quietly peeking from your slightly open closet door you can wait six months while your compost does its thing. Your beautiful, finished compost will be worth the wait. 
  2. Remove expectations: No one really knows what the Boogeyman looks like which makes him even scarier. We are left creating the scariest being our own imagination can conjure. In the same way, composting can look different for each person depending on the bin you use, the size of your yard, and what you want to compost. You do you - don’t worry about anyone else. 
  3. Involve the children: the Boogeyman steals misbehaving children from their homes (apparently in the 1500’s utter terror was considered a great parenting technique to keep your kids in line). Rather than a scary, permanent, punishment, compost can be a way to foster kids’ interest in biology and the natural world
Need more Halloween composting goodness? Here are our past blogs: 

Happy Halloween!

This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-NC

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Hybrid in My Compost?

The weather is great for planting our gardens, but I never expected to raise the lid of my compost bin to see a hybrid developing. A Hybrid? And here I didn’t think I could even afford one.

Remember putting seeds (especially weeds with seeds) in your compost is risky since our backyard bins don’t heat up enough to guarantee that the seeds won’t germinate. Many of us have experienced a variety of volunteers popping up in patio pots, garden beds and other places we’ve spread and mixed compost with our soil.

Never though had I seen a plant like this one…

My Hybrid "Eggplant" 😀

My bean sprouts, no longer edible, decided an eggshell was the perfect spot to develop! Mother Nature does love to entertain us and I thank her for all the smiles.

Guest blogger/ Accidental Gardener Jenny Lohmann

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

The Cicada Circus is Coming to Town!

Like the circus when we were kids, we await the coming of the cicadas with much anticipation. Whether planning an outdoor graduation party, cutting the grass, composting, or running to our car screaming, the entertainment will be absorbing. We won’t be able to watch all the performances, but they sure will put on a show!

In ring one we have the emergence. In the womb of our living soil for 17 years, these nymphs have laid dormant, feeding the soil when they eat or are eaten. Rising, the tunnels they produce provide natural aeration for our soil, allowing for more moisture absorption and less compaction.

In ring two we’ll witness the climbing, costume changes, mating ruckus, feeding frenzy and more! The tree climbers will shed their nymph shells and will take a few days before their exoskeleton is fully developed. Interested in getting a free protein source? This is the stage you want when they’re white and free of crunchy roughage. To get ideas of how to cook with them check out this NewYork Post article. 

Image courtesy of https://pixabay.com/users/barskefranck-6433778/

Those in ring two that reach full maturity have one mission in life, mate. The males are the singers attracting females with song and dance (flight) all awhile both sexes only feed on plant fluids. Is this where the idea of night clubs started? No wonder this Brood is X! The females have one more job before their life’s purpose is over. They need to climb back up a tree and deposit their eggs. Natural pruning won’t harm your trees unless they’re defenseless saplings, so please do protect these.

Finally in ring three, we get to participate by mulch mowing the carcasses into the grass where they’ll return to the soil or rake them up and add them to our compost pile. The cicadas add nutrients back into our soil just as all things that used to be living do. Meanwhile, the newly hatched nymphs will drop to the ground, burrow, and find a nice place to live for the next seventeen years.

Hmmm, singing, dancing drinking, mating and good for the earth… maybe in my next life I will be a cicada! 😊


Guest blogger and cicada enthusiast, Jenny Lohmann

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Composting Crime!?! Who is the Culprit?

 Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, we are here today because the defendant would not confess.

 The crime: digging in the compost pile, despite the clear deterrent of the traffic cone.


The culprit: Taffy the Retriever


Exhibit A: past transgressions of backyard shenanigans, such as digging muddy holes. Caught red-pawed, this mug shot says it all:

But seriously, my dog’s renewed interest in my compost pile this spring reminded me it was time to turn it over. The fallen leaves I had put in the pile last November had slowly compacted under the weight of February’s snow. The center to bottom of the pile was mostly heavy, wet leaves, which made me realize I need to add some greens to my browns. So the next time I mow my yard, I’ll collect the thicker grass trimmings and mix them in with all those brown leaves.* That, along with banana peels, apple cores, and spinach stems, should help balance my compost pile. Then nature will go to work, as the combination of spring rains, sunshine, and warming temperatures will make that compost pile cook.

If you’re reading this, chances are you are a loyal composter yourself. So why not share this blog with a friend or neighbor and introduce them to the world of composting? 

As you can see from the first photo above, my compost pile is a very basic construct. But for those that want a “no muss no fuss” approach that their dog can’t raid, they can purchase a compost bin at our online Compost Bin Sale, now through May 3. Would be - and experienced - composters can learn basics and tips at our free, virtual Get the Dirt on Backyard Composting Seminars. There are three more opportunities available on April 21, 22, and 29. So register now and get composting!

*I never bag grass clippings. When they are thick in the spring, I compost them. For the rest of year, I leave them on my yard to promote healthy soil.

Guest Blogger and Dog-Enthusiast, Joy Landry