Black Gold

compost-bucket

This is my compost bucket.  I quit using my garbage disposal and throwing vegetable/fruit  matter in the trash about 18 months ago.  Instead I started  keeping a  bucket on the counter behind the sink and throwing all my vegetable scraps in it.  You may be thinking eeeewwwww, doesn’t it smell and isn’t it gross?  Honestly it does not and no it is not, because it gets filled and dumped so quickly, and I keep several in rotation.  In the summer though it does seem to attract fruit flys.  But then you just put the bucket outside the kitchen door or somewhere unobtrusive.  In this bucket we put vegetable and fruit peelings, egg shells, tea bags, coffee filters and the grounds and then when the bucket is full we throw it on our compost heap in the backyard.   Some people go to a lot of trouble to maintain their compost.  They try to get the right mixture of vegetable matter, moisture, grass clippings, straw, leaves.  They also turn it frequently with a shovel or garden fork.  Some people even have fancy barrels that they can rotate the compost in.  Not me, I use the lazy woman’s method.  Throw the compost on the heap, throw the leaves raked in the fall on the heap, and just keep mounding it up.  Then in the spring I dig deep underneath that top layer of stuff that hasn’t completely decomposed.  I dig down deep to rich black compost.   What I like to call Black Gold.  A beautiful, crumbly, mixture!252109192

I take my Black Gold, and work it into my soil before I plant my flowers and vegetables.  It is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to amend your soil and give your plants a nutritional boost.  In addition to the nutrition it also makes your soil the perfect density (I’m sure there is a great technical gardening term for this – I’m thinking “friable” meaning the soil is not too loose and not too compact).  Just a couple of suggestions if you haven’t done this before.  Don’t put meat, cheese, or any kinds of grease or oil in your compost.   And if you use the lazy woman’s method of composting you probably don’t want to throw your weeds on your compost pile.  The temperature may not get hot enough to kill the weed seeds.

I planted carrots, swiss chard, beets and lettuce this morning.  And my peas are starting to climb their strings!   Now I’m off to hunt down the ingredients for making my own detergent.  Recipes can be found at Mackville Road, and Gonzomama, please note that they later checked out the Fels Napa soap and it may not be the safest ingredient so look  for Castile or Ivory bar soap.

11 Comments Add yours

  1. simplyblogged says:

    We used to do this in Wyoming but Alaska does not get warm enough to break down the compost. bummer!

    I need to check out the detergent.

  2. Patricia says:

    I have a confession to make. I just started composting this month. I had been grossed out by my stepmom’s compost method (don’t ask) and didn’t want any kind of additional odors and mess in the house. My youngest son and I set up a compost bin next to the garage (very cheap at our local Recycling center, and it keeps the many critters we have in our yard out of the scraps), and we have an under-counter bucket in our kitchen. It works great and so far no smell, though the fruit flies will definitely be a problem in the summer.

  3. Diane says:

    Yay! I am really liking that you gave my method a name: the lazy woman’s method! I just always flog myself while I’m out there — Ohhh, I should be turning this! I should be balancing my green and brown matter! But I never do. And then I just do what you do and dig carefully from the bottom. In my case, however, I’m not going to be seeing any of that black gold business for at least another month if not two! It’s nice to see yours, though. : )

  4. Wow, your compost bucket is so much prettier than mine!

    I do turn mine, but it is as much therapeutic as anything else. I love turning dirt over. Neighbors will see me in my garden digging and digging and offer up their tiller. I don’t think they believe me when I say I enjoy it.

    Anyway, I’ve told you about my “pet worms.” I’ll be anxious to get out soon and see if they have come out of hibernation…or whatever they do in winter.

    I saw on Oprah about a year ago, a whole set up for composting in your kitchen. It looked like a little barbecue grill. Worms and debris were on the top layer on a screen like thing. Worm droppings fell in the bottom part. I’d love to have one, but I don’t know that Mark would think it is a wonderful as I.

  5. I do this too! Our soil here in NC was nothing like the nice soil in British Columbia but it is definitely improving from where it was when we moved here 2 years ago. If you pick up a bag of coffee grinds from Starbucks occasionally, it seems to speed the process up, especially for clay like soil or soil low in nitrogen.

    I agree that bucket looks prettier than mine too!xo
    ~dee

  6. I hope it is okay if I mentioned your blog and linked it with my post on composting and gardening today. 🙂

  7. simpledaisy says:

    I have really been wanting to start a compost pile for quite sometime and just haven’t gotten around to it! You have reminded me that I really need to do it!! Take care~

  8. BTW, I totally stole your lovely composting photo for my blog. I did, of course, link back to you and say it was your photo. I should have asked first….do you mind? jj

  9. molly says:

    i too am a lazy composter! i fill an old pyrex bowl once every day or two then take it out back to dump in a garbage can turned composter i got from freecycle. i’m always amazed that i can actually make dirt wtih my garbage. you should definitely add your compost picture to my flickr group, “the remains of the day”. it’s all about compost, baby.

  10. jacquie says:

    when i move this summer i’ll have my garden again…no reason to have compost in this townhome. it is black gold and my dad and i will be back to who gets the first tomato.

  11. applecyder says:

    love this post. we put a rectangle tupperware container in our fridge for our compost. even my off-grid sister was impressed with our little system.

    thanks for voting again, btw!

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