My own compost

My gradual evolution from a junk-food eating, non-recycling, ignorant human into a pure, unadulterated 100% Ethicurean is still undergoing some serious metamorphoses. Last year I felt that I was producing more garbage than was necessary, so I started a worm compost in my storage room. I gradually decreased my meat consumption until I found a good source of local pastured pork and bought an extra freezer, which also went into my storage room. I started canning (I haven’t even written about that yet) and freezing foods from my harvest, which forced my worms (I eventually started a second bin) out on to the balcony. There was no way the worms would survive a Canadian winter outdoors and they weren’t really keeping up with the amount of waste we were producing, so I went out and got a composter. 

I picked it up at my local Eco-Quartier, which is a municipal organization that promotes eco-civicism in order to enhance and preserve the local environment. They distribute our green recycling boxes and do some other neat stuff, including the sale of subsidized composters. I assembled my composter without the aid of instructions, which would have been in French anyways, and placed it behind our apartment, after getting permission from the nice lady who lives on the ground floor. We would actually be sharing this composter with two of our neighbours, who don’t seemto be using yet, but I will work on them over the next few weeks.

I have been alternating our vegetable waste with piles of dead leaves that are falling off the trees at an alarming rate. We have been putting a lot of stuff into the bin: raw vegetable peelings and inedibles (like onion skins, apple cores), egg shells, coffee grounds, and even steamed or boiled vegetable leftovers. We hardly have any actual garbage on garbage days anymore. Once the snow comes and the temperature drops to below zero, I don’t know if the compost will continue to biodegrade. I’ve heard varying opinions, but the truth will reveal itself eventually. Either way, I’m pretty satisfied with the results so far. 

4 Responsesto “My own compost”

  1. Ed Bruske says:

    Some microbes are still working down toward the freezing point, but not many. My guess is, your compost will be pretty much frozen solid over the winter, but it will start heating back up again in the spring. Your kitchen scraps should be pretty well preserved.

  2. One way I used to keep my compost bin chugging along over the winter was to “feed” it hot scraps, like the vegetables strained out of homemade vegetable stock. I’d dig a little pile in the compost, add the steaming vegetables, and cover them back up.

    Of course, freezing the compost aids in breaking it down, too. Think of how much mushier fruits and vegetables can be when thawed. At least in the case of your compost bin, that’s a good thing!

  3. Looking good Nosher. It can be amazing to see the warmth rising up over the compost pile in the winter once it gets big enough. Even if it does freeze, it will start up again as the sun returns.

  4. Peter aka Nosher of the North says:

    The weather has been nice and warm so the pile is still going strong. Last night I added the scraps generated from making eight liters of russian cabbage borscht.