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



Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Compost, Cocktails, and a Sale, Oh My!

 

If you enjoy compost, cocktails, and sales you’re going to love these opportunities beginning March 31.


 

We’re hosting our first ever virtual ‘Compost and Cocktails’ happy hour tomorrow. We will meet up on Zoom at 5:30 p.m. to share cocktail/mocktail recipes.  A panel of local entrepreneurs will detail services that will compost your food scraps from your home, business, or at a drop off site. Gather your pod of peeps and enjoy a toast to compost! Register here.

Have your own backyard and choose to DIY? Then join us for our annual Get the Dirt on Backyard Composting seminar followed up by our compost bin sale. Whether you’ve been contemplating composting and just want to learn more or need to jump start your spring with a refresher, this virtual opportunity is the place to learn.

 

All seminars this year are virtual at a variety of times, and even on Saturday! You’ll learn the basic steps to successfully compost while earning a $10 off coupon good for one of our already discounted compost bins.

So be like a tornado and whirl over to our website for more information and to register for the seminars. 

BTW, your mother called, she said she wants a compost bin this Mother’s Day!

 

 



Monday, February 8, 2021

Can I Compost Orange Peels?

Oh, sweet citrus. You make my bleak winter months bearable, but our family seems to end up with a lot more orange peels this time of year. If you are in the same citrus boat as me, you may wonder, is it okay to throw all this acidic goodness in with my compost?

Can you compost citrus? The answer is:

               In the backyard = Yes

               In the worm bin = No

Set Your Mind at Squeeze

Yes, if you are composting in a typical backyard composting bin, you can include orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit, pomelos, and whatever other kind of citrus you want. The key is to not include only citrus peels.

Orange peels are acidic and if you were only adding citrus peels, you may make the pile too acidic to be a good habitat for our microorganism friends. But it would have to be A LOT of citrus. Like, if you owned a lemonade stand and were throwing 5-gallon buckets of lemon peels into your bin every day, you might have a problem.

For the rest of us, keep on adding the peels. They provide nitrogen to help your pile break down.

Zest One Exception

If you have a worm bin (or vermicomposting bin for fancier folk) then you want to minimize or even avoid citrus altogether.

Why? Two reasons. First, our worm friends are very sensitive to changes in pH and in the confined space of the bin there is nowhere for them to escape the acidic onslaught.

Second, little white mites seem to be attracted to citrus in worm bins. I don’t know where they come from or why they appear in worm bins and not backyard bins. This mystery may never be solved, I just know they are annoying enough to deter me from wanting to feed the worms citrus.

Random Acts of Rindness

So, if you compost in your backyard, keep tossing those peels into the bin. Your compost pile will convert those peels into lovely, finished compost with ease.


I’ll just be over here stuffing my face with orange slices and dreaming of warmer days to come.