Spread the Joy, Spread the Compost!

Happy Earth Day, everyone. Do something nice... Charlie's plans include picking up trash in the wilderness area that adjoins the library and releasing his butterfly "Swingset" (raised from a caterpillar) into the newly-cleaned wilderness. Every little bit helps.

Last year, Charlie and Husband created their own "hot" composter (of course, Charlie lost interest in about a week, so for the past year it's been, well, Husband's toy). Composting not only cuts down on landfill waste, but the end product is nutrient-enriched soil that your plants will love. I've seen directions for creating your own composter and they can be pretty convoluted. It's really basic: Trash can, holes, done.

Here's a link with easy video directions for making a "hot" composter.

We use a three-foot tall black plastic trash can with lid purchased from the local home store for under $10. (The total cost of the project.) Husband drilled some holes in the bottom and on the sides for aeration. You should then find a nice sunny area to place your compost bin.

Husband and Charlie next placed the composter out in a sunny place for heat and on two bricks for aeration. The lid on the can helps to retain heat and moisture, which speeds up the compost process. Start throwing in your bio waste, water every once in a while (it shouldn't get too dry), and stir once-a-week or so to aerate.

The compost bin shouldn't be too high since you need to get in there and stir it up.

Here's a link with a composting process/materials guide.

What we toss in:

Vegetable and fruit remainders, egg shells, potato peels, coffee grounds, etc. Grass clippings and leaves are great too.

What not to put in:

Animal fats and animal waste products (but I hear you can put in rabbit pellets since they're herbivores).

That's about it. Very simple and very good.

If you're like us, yours will have a lot of coffee grounds as this is a major food group in our house.

Husband recently went into farmer mode and potted some tomato plants that our friend Bruce gave us. He's using our compost to feed the plants and they're very happy.

It takes a few months for your waste to turn into compost, but this hot process works pretty fast. The same effect can be created, albeit slower, in a corner of your yard by just throwing your leaves, clippings, etc. in a pile.

Spread the joy, spread the compost!

Oh, and of course you'll want to celebrate Earth Day with your very own "Go Green" StoryRhyme.com DustBunny shirt. ('Couldn't help myself.)

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