Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Are you Guilty?


An Ohio State University study revealed that individuals who compost tend to waste more food. Creating our own compost, we don’t feel as guilty putting that entire mushy banana or bruised apple into the compost. So what to do?

On Sunday, September 8th from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., you can come learn all about preventing the waste of food while having fun eating, participating in a creative cooking demonstration, and following a passport journey to more food adventures at our zero waste event “For the Love of Food” at Washington Park.

This event is family friendly and is entirely free. Have questions about the event or want to volunteer? Check out our event page here.





Guest Blogger, Angela Rivera

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

When Your Leaf Stash Disappears

Often this time of year, us composters run out of the nice, dry brown leaves we had in plenty in the fall. We remember, with longing, those bags of brown leaves set out on the curb that didn’t quite fit into the leaf bins. If only we could go back in time…

If you have run out of leaves, don’t fret. We have other sources of “brown” or “carbon-rich” material that can substitute for leaves in a pinch. I will say that leaves are, hands down, the best carbon source for backyard composting, but below are good alternatives.

Alternative sources of carbon:
  • Dead plants in the yard
  • Shredded paper (shred to avoid matting)
  • Paper plates and napkins 
  • Egg cartons
  • Hay or straw
  • Untreated sawdust (use sparingly, very high in carbon)
  • Untreated wood chips (use sparingly)
  • Dryer lint (link)
  • Cardboard (torn into pieces)
  • Pine needles (brown)
  • Junk mail
  • Prunings from woody shrubbery (cut into small pieces)
  • Tea bags
  • Expired spices
  • Corn cobs (cut up into pieces)
  • Wood ash (use sparingly)


You still need to bury your food scraps even if it is under a bed of shredded pizza boxes. Happy composting, friends, and don’t worry, your yard will be buried in leaves before you know it.



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