Monday, April 27, 2009

Go Green: Are You Up for the Composting Challenge?

Our home has quite a bit of land for Bergen County, NJ (1.3 acres to be exact), so I’m all over gardening. With that, I’ve been dying to try composting. (Okay, yes, I’m a bit too excited about using decomposed food scraps for my garden.) We’ve been looking for a composting bin for a few months. They tend to be a bit expensive and hard to find. Although, I have seen compost bins on and

We recently found a composter through one of the local towns for $43.50. I really wanted the kind that is a big drum that you can turn to mix the compost. This one looks like a black garbage can without a bottom. It has vents and the top twists off so you can easily add your food scraps. There’s also a door on the side by the bottom to retrieve the compost and you use large plastic screws to ensure it stays put.

Next, we had to figure out where to put the composter. Where in our yard would we want a giant trash-can-looking device? It made the most sense to put it near the garden, but we plan to relocate our garden next season. (The current spot just didn’t seem to get enough sun. Most of my tomatoes were still green in the middle of the summer.)

So it’s in place, but the one thing we didn’t think about was: how are we going to get our scraps out to the composter? I don’t feel like trucking out to the far corner of the yard in the middle of winter to throw in some food scraps. The plan is to use a large bucket with a lid and keep it on the deck. We can easily add food to it, but keeping it outside will hopefully keep the smells at bay.

We struck gold at a recent garage sale outing. We nabbed a $35-$40 countertop compost pail with lid for$1. It looks nice and is functional -- score! Now it's a matter of taking the pail and emptying in the compost bin.

I’ll keep you posted on how long it takes to get our first batch of compost. Stay tuned…

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