Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Composting Along

You may have already seen my post from a number of weeks ago about starting a compost pile with "a little help from a James-y". (That is what he says when he wants to help.  "Mummy, do you need a little help from a James-y?"  In a sing-song voice.  I love it.)  Well, it's still going and I think it is composting for sure, albeit rather slowly.  It is a large pile though, and I think I had been leaving it between turnings a little too long, and watering a little too infrequently.  But I am learning how to compost properly, as a result of this super fun initiative started up by Deanna of Little House in the Suburbs, called a "Compost-Along".  It is a bit like a knit-along, where a bunch of people do the same pattern and check in with each other's progress, but in this case, we're building compost piles and progressing through the decomposition process.  Sounds exciting?  Well, it is to me!

So week by week, we check in to Deanna's blog where she writes up instructions for where we should be in the process and tips to help us along.  I have a feeling I'll have a lot more success doing it this way, and I have a feeling I really need it.  To illustrate, follow me as I work through this week's composting homework.  She shared how to build your compost pile, but mine is already built.  So I went outside to turn it and moisten the material (if needed, I figured that with all that miserable welcome rain that we had over the weekend, it would be drenched):

Heading out to the compost pile, so I bring my trusty kitchen composter to empty, while I am thinking of it.

Ewwwww.  Well, as you can see, we've been eating a lot of fruit. :)

A riveting action shot of me sticking the pitchfork into the pile and attempting to turn it.  Not as easy as it looks.  And how is it possible that the grass clippings are entirely dry?!!

OK, so I am pretty much convinced that plant clippings from the middle of the pile (where it is dark and supposedly warm, if not hot) are still actually photosynthesizing.  What?  I even dug out a few forget-me-nots that had flowers of a quality that I could have given them to somebody!

Wondering if this pile is a little too big.  I wondered about taking a photo with a frame of reference, but I didn't know what to use and didn't want to drag James out of bed.

Attempting to soak the life out of (or into, as it were) this ridiculous Sahara of a compost pile.

I wasn't sure that a gentle shower was as effective as it could be so I decided to bring out the big guns.
Are you a veteran composter?  Can you help me?  Or are you a newbie like me, have already started a pile (or could collect the necessary materials this week) and feeling like joining in, even if a little late?  Composting together is fun!  This is why they invented the internet.  Stay tuned for a fascinating look next week at the microbial action in my backyard.


  1. You should talk to Tracy! She is a composting pro.

  2. Love the hose actions shots. Keep 'em coming.


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