Gardening enrichment from your kitchen and bathroom
by WRETHAOFFGRID on JUNE 9, 2013 - 5 Comments in FOOD, SELF-SUFFICIENCY, WRETHA

compost
Many of you who garden are already in full swing, there are only a few of us who start gardening late for various reasons, whether you have a full garden or just a few pots of herbs, it’s always a good idea to feed your soil, year round. If you garden then chances are you at least know about compost, that’s anything organic that can break down into components that your soil and plants need. If you mow your lawn and don’t rake up the grass or when the leaves fall from the trees, that material eventually breaks down into nutrients that your soil and plants can use. That’s compost!

In your kitchen, you have great things that you might be tossing into the garbage can, things that could be adding nutrition to your soil, things like coffee grounds, used tea, egg shells, potato and banana peels, food scraps, there are some who say to compost meat, others say not to, it does take longer to compost and it could attract vermin… the list can go on and on. You should save these things in a small pail in your kitchen then pop it outside into a compost pile, that can be as simple as a dedicated garbage can that doesn’t get emptied into the city dump. Keeping a lid on it will keep down the fly population as well as keep out the neighborhood critters, dogs, cats, squirrels, racoons…

compost01

There are other household things that can go into your compost, paper, that originally came from a tree so it can easily go back into the cycle, face tissues (yes, used ones!), paper towels, the cardboard rolls from paper towels and toilet paper, junk mail, newspaper, letters, scrap paper, you used to have to worry about what kind of ink was on the paper, but most inks used in this way are safe to compost. If you shred the paper, it breaks down even quicker. That goes for anything you toss into the compost pile, the smaller it is broken down before going in, the quicker it will compost.

Now, in the title I mentioned kitchens AND bathrooms… most of you will be on board for the kitchen composting, but what could possibly be in the bathroom that you would want to compost??? Everyone uses toilet paper, and yes I know, that sounds gross, but there is nothing wrong with putting that into your compost pile, it will compost down to a safe end product. Really want to get hard core here? You can go with the Humanure method of composting human waste, as long as it’s properly composted, that is perfectly safe to apply to your garden. At the very least, urine is high in nitrogen, is perfectly sanitary and your plants will love it, you don’t need to compost urine but you will need to dilute it, a 10% solution in water will make for some happy plants. Just don’t tell your mother in law what you used to fertilize the green beans you are eating for lunch, not unless she is really into organic gardening big time… :)

Don’t forget about grass clippings, leaves you rake, tree trimmings, garden trimmings and such…

 

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5 comments

1 Corey { 06.10.13 at 11:47 am }

Be sure to remove the tea from the bags.
The hardest thing about composting to me is deciding what goes into the bin and what goes to the chickens!
Please keep in mind, compost needs to have a balance of nitrogen and carbon. Just about everything listed above is a nitrogen element and would require the addition of carbon. I use ash from the wood stove.

2 Wretha { 06.10.13 at 12:00 pm }

Good info Corey, the chickens will “compost” material too :)

Wretha

3 Corey { 06.10.13 at 5:23 pm }

Perhaps I should write an article on Humanure. It’s not as “icky” as most people think. I sent a couple articles to Nick recently but I haven’t heard back from him.

4 Wretha { 06.11.13 at 1:23 pm }

Corey, send them again, or send them to me and I’ll take care of it. :) Nick is a busy guy. My email is my name at gmail.

An article on Humanure would be great.

Wretha

5 Corey { 06.11.13 at 4:21 pm }

Sent them to you, thanks. I hate to bug him as I know he’s been busy lately. I swear that daytimer of his should be mounted to his arm, haha.

I’ll start thinking about a humanure article. There’s information out there to be found but I think many people are standoffish to the idea.

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