May 202012

Making compost isn’t really so complicated. If you collect some green stuff and brown stuff and put in a pile it will eventually metamorphose into humus (finished compost). It’s magical.

Take your vegetable kitchen scraps, coffee grounds and fireplace ash and combine them in a pile with leaves, grass and other plant material and eventually, even if you do nothing, the detrius of your life will turn into a substance that is the holy grail of gardening. We don’t want to get technical here. We want to be lazy. You can make composting complicated if you want. If you do, you might get your compost faster.

Non-gardeners should also consider composting. Since all islanders are on septic systems it’s really not such a good idea to use your garbage disposal. Flushing all those veggie trimmings down the sink is adding an unnecessary load to your system. That garbage can be recycled. If you don’t have a vegetable garden you probably have a flower bed or a flower pot. At the very least you’ll have a friend who will come get your finished compost. It’s best to put kitchen scraps in a closed container for a period of time until they begin to break down unless you enjoy visits from rats and raccoons. When you can’t tell what it was anymore you can dump this gunk on your pile. Rats and raccoons will not bother the compost heap.

Leave the pile for a year. Let the rain, worms and bacteria get to work on transforming it from waste to richness. The elements and the critters do all the work. All you have to do is collect the material and pile it up. It is the ultimate act of recycling with a result that can provide a material benefit to you.  It’s an easy way to practice conservation and sustainability.

(Printed in The Tome for the Lummi Island Conservancy).


  2 Responses to “Lazy Compost”

  1. Here’s to laziness!

    Since moving here, I’ve been burying kitchen garbage in planting beds, down 12-18″. Works nicely, disappears fast due to worm-works. Occasionally a rodent (or something like one) tries to dig in, but a board or piece of screen on top solves that problem. I started this because my terrace garden was created (unknown to me, as I was in Chicago at the time) by piling clay & rocks from the house foundation on *top* of the topsoil, anywhere up to 2′ deep. Since then, I’ve been working my way down each row digging out the rocks & loosening the clay until reaching the topsoil (about 1-2′ square at a time) and filling up the rock space with compost. The good news is that now I’ve really nice gardening soil. Plus a HUGE pile of rocks, rocks in wire columns, in old flower pots… TONS of rocks. Maybe a rock wall some day, if I’m not too lazy.

  2. Thanks for jostling my memory Wynne. I recall my Italian relatives doing the same thing – burying organic kitchen scraps in the vegetable garden, just as you are doing. It really makes the best compost. You have inspired me to take up the practice. Cheers!

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