Compost Awareness Week (Really?!)

I swear there is an awareness week for everything, but hey, I love compost so I’ll go along with this one.  I’ve now taken my composting game to another level.  I got a worm composting bin!!!! (So excited!!)  The thing about compost is, once you see how easy it is to make and how little you get in the end, you start putting more and more stuff in to get more and more compost in the end.  I have three 4-foot (cubed) compost bins in the back.  Every year, I put in all the kitchen scraps and all the leaves and all the weeds and plant clippings and when the hubs spreads it out, it hardly covers any space at all!  So every year, I end up finding more and more and more things  to put in to get more out.  I’m telling you.  It gets kind of crazy.

Even with all this composting, I’m nowhere near where I need to be for the yard, but as it turns out, the township puts out free compost from the leaves they collect at the end of the fall season.  Thankfully, this should be enough to fill up the rest of the space that the compost we make doesn’t.  And I can say that it really makes a huge difference.  I tested it on my herb bed and garlic beds.  Last season I created a new bed down the driveway with strawberries and garlic and I added peas and lettuce for early season harvesting.  The herbs did well last year when I used regular dirt and fertilizer, but since I added about 2-3 inches of compost on the entire bed this year, the herbs are already going crazy.  I’ve already cut back the tarragon (which struggled last year)  three times and every time I cut it, it nearly jumps for joy with the way it bounces back.  I have a garden bed that I call “The Hubs’ Bed” because he did most of the work to convert it from the mess it was when we moved in.  It used to have a huge conifer that we had removed and then he pulled out the stump with his SUV.  And so he gets first dibs on whatever goes there.  Last year, it did “alright”, but this year, I’m really hopeful for a great harvest since he has already requested Cantaloupes.

Last year, we hit the tipping point with the composting.  I had too much to compost. The bins were so full that I had to get holding bins to store the compost that didn’t fit into the compost bins yet.  And thanks to the almost weekly snow storms this past winter, the hubs had to trek through the knee high snow to dump the kitchen scraps into the bin and I said, “Forget it, I’m getting a worm bin!”  I put three pounds of red wiggler worms in the bin and since they eat about half their body weight in food scraps in a week, they seemed like a reasonable amount for the household between the hubs, the kid and me.  I stuck it  a hidden corner in the basement and it’s been going for a few weeks now.  Pretty soon I’ll have a good amount of compost so I can feed the indoor plants with it.  And I’ve been feeding some of the outdoor plants with the liquid that collects at the bottom already.

Now The Hubs finds all this worm composting amusing, because I am not at all squeamish when it comes to worms.  And that’s about the extent of my non-squeamishness.  I am the serious eeking, screaming, on top of a chair girl if you even hint that there may be a mouse in the vicinity.  I was superbly grateful to get through college with a Biology degree without ever having to handle mice (I was fine with the frogs).  There is a plant called mouse tails that I can’t even LOOK at in a plant catalog ‘cos it freaks me out that much.  My mother on the other hand has a worm bin and refuses to touch it.  I have to harvest the compost for her so she doesn’t actually have to handle any worms by accident.   So I guess you could say I have two worm bins.

 

 

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