We were super-excited when we moved to Maple Hoo and had enough yard space to be able to compost our kitchen scraps. One of the first things we bought for the yard was a compost bin, and we have, since day one, religiously deposited into it every compostable scrap we can. Last week, for example, we had citrusy cocktails in the afternoon and chili for dinner, and this was what the compost bowl looked like:
Now, we know there are all kinds of steps you’re supposed to follow to optimize your compost pile, with the balance of green and brown material, the aerating, the turning, the heat, the beneficial worms, the humidity, blah blah blah. We take the “benign neglect” approach, just dumping everything into the bin, very rarely thinking to try to add some brown (shredded newspaper or straw), and even more rarely thinking to turn it. After two years of just piling up the kitchen scraps and letting them do their own thing, we opened up the little hatch at the bottom of the bin, and look what we found:
It was no mean feat shoveling that stuff out of the bin, and it got pretty stinky as the less composty stuff at the top of the heap started falling down as the foundation was excavated. What we managed to pull out of there was a bit damp, so we gave it a few days to dry out, but when it came time to fill in the last few beds in the garden, we had a couple of cubic feet of lovely, homemade compost!