On My Reading List

I'm renovating...

Paved With Good Intentions

Composting. Hmpf. I’m all over teaching people to do it. However, I regularly practice, “do as I say not as I do”. One of those self improvement things I need to work on maybe.

I spent a week in Kaslo, BC about 5 years ago. I loved it. One of my favorite parts of the trip was the fact that the people who owned the cabins were recyclers & composters. They’d been doing it for years already. It seemed like such a simple process I had no idea why it wasn’t common practice everywhere I went. From that moment forward I was going to be the best recycler and composter ever. Pfft.

Living in a condo at the time the idea of composting seemed pointless, we didn’t have a garden planted for years. I know better now. I get it now – well, parts of it.

Skip forward; now living in a bungalow with a garden space, and obsessed with Permaculture and being a “Steward of the Earth”. I better get that bin going. I use a huge amount of veggies when I cook so I could get that thing going in a matter of days! Right?

We agreed that we’d make a bin out of the materials we’re getting from the broken down stage at the community hall (also practicing the art of asking – or asking Jacob to ask when I’m being a chicken). So we have that worked out. I found a container that was big enough to hold a couple of days veg waste in the meantime. Since it was an experiment I figured I would leave it out and see what happened. After a couple of days there was no smell, no critters, just some veg ready to get tossed. Cool. We agreed that we needed a bigger “meantime” container, and why should we buy a fancy bin for garbage?! So it seemed to make sense that we used the air-tight-ish cat litter containers that we’d kept because they are solid with a lid and handle and perfect just for such an occasion.

It’s funny to me that with all of these courses I’m taking online and the reading I’m doing I never thought to actually READ about composting before I got started. It seemed like such an easy process. You keep all of the organic waste that hasn’t been cooked (or meat – no meat in home sized composting – it attracts critters) in a bucket, then when it’s full you mix it in the big bin with some newspaper or leaves and let it rot away and turn into amazing soil. (insert car crash sound here!)

STOP. The bucket did a great job of hiding any potential smell. Until Jacob opened it to throw in the coffee grounds after a day. It reminded me of the time I accidentally used the bottle of ammonia on the tub instead of the regular cleaner. Like burning nostril hairs smell. This is where I decided some reading might be useful. Off to the forums I go!

Turns out we have created an anaerobic state. That is, one without air. If it smells, that means its decomposing at least… That’s as far as I’ve gotten. Point is, it’s all moldy and smells of ammonia and I’m learning about composting today! Progress at it’s best.

 

 



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