Compost

I am new to composting but I need to get rid of food scraps and put some life back into the soil and garden. 

Overgrown trees everywhere have blocked light to the soil and stopped the natural processes that create rich soil. It's a lot of dry, exposed dirt. Worm "casings" as they are called euphemistically, helps bring nutrients back to the soil. 

I'm going to try an experiment to start out composting. I call it the two buckets technique. Two 5 gallon buckets will allow me to turn over the compost between them to access the casings and aerate the soil. So to not start from scratch, which you can do, I'm going to use half a bucket of high quality topsoil.

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 Here I have some green leftovers from pho and artichokes we ate over the last week. It is all green waste. 

Here I have some green leftovers from pho and artichokes we ate over the last week. It is all green waste. 

 

It's good to have a balance of foods so you can add some strips of newspaper to help provide and alternate type of food for the worms. Strips are important to let air into the compost. Composting is an aerobic process. Brown food should be half the weight or less relative to green food for the worms. That means you probably can't put in your whole weekly newspaper unless you have a serious operation going.

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 I filled up a bottle of wine so I wouldn't add too much water, just enough to dampen the newspaper and soil that dried out in the sun a bit

I filled up a bottle of wine so I wouldn't add too much water, just enough to dampen the newspaper and soil that dried out in the sun a bit

 I got some red wrigglers from the bait shop. 3 packs of 50 worms. Go to town boys! 

I got some red wrigglers from the bait shop. 3 packs of 50 worms. Go to town boys! 

I hear it's also good to have layers because it streamlines the composting process. I put the green at the bottom, then newspaper, then worms, then topsoil. After a while, as the food is eaten off the bottom, I can flip the buckets and the casings will be on the top and the food I will have been adding on the top will be the new bottom food. This is just a theory. The bottom is also the most wet and if the food is rotting more than being eaten by the worms, I'll change up the operation. 

 Soil on top

Soil on top

Day 2

I was worried that the compost was too wet so I flipped it today. It definitely was too wet. Penicillin like fuzz was already growing. I think I'll flip it every day for a while and leave the lid off to help it dry out. 

I did get to see the worms getting after the newspaper! 

 Bunch of worms already eating that newspaper.

Bunch of worms already eating that newspaper.

The thing feels very much alive already. It's pretty cool. Wriggling worms, roll-e-polies, different types of flies, and the stink of the wet greens says there's something, probably anaerobic, eating them. If it's too wet it will stink a lot. You shouldn't be able to squeeze out water drops with your hand.