1. Great post. Going to buy a tumbler composter this week at costco. Really excited. The final products must feels so rewarding.

  2. Julie, I have decided to make my own little contribution, so amongst other things, I now have two bokashi bins to ferment our household waste. (we also have a worm farm for some fruit and veges.) my quandary is that it has now come time to bury the waste but it turns out the ground where we live is on an old quarry site and we can’t dig as it’s just rock. I can’t bear to just throw it all in the rubbish having come so far. Have you any suggestions? Thx Great blog by the way!

  3. SUPER helpful. I clearly need to work on brown materials. I knew you could put egg cartons in – but I did not know paper or tissues were allowed. And, drier lint!

  4. very helpful article, especially to people with green thumbs! and that’s right, worms are very helpful in composting.

  5. Thanks so much for your article. I’m re-inspired. I tried composting, unsuccessfully, but I know it was more due to neglect than anything. I really want to try again. My most successful gardening venture was gardening in boxes with soil & compost, but I’m not sure I was aware of the whole petrochemicals, thing. Thanks, again!

  6. Many other web pages offer advice about composting, but this post brings it all together nicely. Thanks! We’re sharing it with our Facebook followers!

  7. This is very timely! I am planning to start my own worm farm. Which is better, a plastic or metal compost bin? Hope to get an answer. Thanks! – Kristina

  8. So sorry for the delayed response! My Momma was here for a visit :)

    @Lisa, I had never heard of Bokashi until now, so thank you for introducing me to a new compost-related item. As someone whose garden in Lyons had as much river rock as soil when I started on my gardening adventures, I feel your pain! Here are a few suggestions:

    1. You could very likely incorporate the contents of the Bokashi into the worm bin (I would start in small quantities just in case the pH isn’t to the worms’ liking or something). The worms would finnish breaking it down and then you could use the castings as normal.

    2. Find a friend with a compost bin and contribute your Bokashi to it. A community garden plot might be willing to take the contents for their compost…

    3. Create an above ground area for it. Straw bales are very good for containing the waste and keeping animals out, as are traditional compost tumblers or bins.

    4. I have a friend whose mother-in-law has never had a compost pile per se, but instead picks a corner of her garden and buries stuff in it and then moves slowly throughout her beds until everything is fertilized (you can’t actually plant anything in the area where you’re actively burying stuff because it would burn the roots).

    @wormfarming gal – I think either metal or plastic can work for a compost bin. The design is what really counts. You need it to be easy to stir and access, and it needs to have air holes. I know people who are worm composting in old refrigerators, trash cans, coolers, and all manner of other repurposed containers, so you can definitely take what you have on hand and adapt it for compost.

    With metal, I would just be extra careful to avoid sharp edges that might, over time, get sharper/rusty. With plastic, we have to be really careful in Colorado because the sun is so hot that it breaks the plastic down over time. Anything that is exposed to the elements is going to have some wear and tear. I’ve always thought straw bale composting would be excellent, because yes, the bin itself (the straw bales) breaks down over time, but then it just gets incorporated into the compost.

    Thanks for all the comments folks!

  9. Hey great post who thought you could write so much about making dirt, great idea though. I live in a condo now but I do miss my garden. Maybe next time I move I will have a nice compost heat again :-)

  10. …i for one think that composting involves serious labor…but then again reading your post actually made it simple…thanks.

  11. Thanks for the info, really usefull, I’ll give this a try soon !

  12. I love this post! Composting is something that I have not kept up once we moved and I have never been very good at it. “Lazy and unscientific” is definitely how I approach it, to varying results. ;)

    This summer I really want to get back to it and do a better, read: more efficient, job so that it is more effective and keeps encouraging me along. Thanks for the kick!

  13. A few comments learned from my own experience and the “Master Composter” certification process:

    * 99% of home composting is “cold” composting. This method produces lovely compost, but it will not kill weed seeds. If you don’t want to turn your compost, just plan to have two bins, so you can leave one to do its thing when it’s full. Many people empty a finished bin only once or twice a year.

    * A hot compost pile must be at least 3′ x 3′ x 3′ and built all at once – that’s a lot of materials for the average homeowner to have lying around at one time. It must also be turned often to keep the heat process going. This is the method used by commercial composting facilities and small farms that make their own. It’s fairly labor intensive and you need to have the right mixture of ingredients.

    * Worm compost is great as a soil amendment, but you can’t use it as a mulch on its own. If it dries out, it makes a hard crust.

    * A single “normal” sized worm bin (like a can-o-worms) can handle food from 2 people (non -vegetarians) once the worm population is built up.

  14. This was really informative for those who are interested in the various aspects of composting. Thanks for sharing your tips on what people can do for different amounts of space that they have!

  15. There are lovely compost crocks on the market these days. Has anyone tried putting a small worm in their crock in the kitchen?

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