The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
Even though I dealt with my annual compost task a couple weeks ago, I thought it might bear sharing, since I wrote one of my first blog posts about it and thought a picture of the same pile a year later would be cool.
Unfortunately, the photos aren’t the best. That’s because the GSP has perfected her craft of breaking into the pile and feasting on its putrified contents, and I had to find a way to stop her. Not because she’d puke it up or have accidents — that dog could handily digest a bucket of bolts with nary a fart. But rather, the compost needs those green fuzzy cantaloupe peels, not her! So now I have wire on the top, wire on the front, all hammered in with U-nails. … And I was too lazy to take them off for the photo. So use your squinting skills.
The left is the pile this time last year, the right is the same side 12 months later (now).
Again, I do nothing to this pile, aside from adding everything except blooming weeds (and car parts). No aerating, no turning. No paying attention to the ratio of green versus brown contents. Nothing.
Therefore, there are always things that don’t completely rot: avocado pits, cantaloupe peels, big sticks and branches, some egg shells, clam shells… Maybe I shouldn’t be adding clam shells…
As I dig the compost out, I pull any large item out and set it aside.
I also pull out the garbage that has made its way in to the pile.
And rescue any kitchen utensils that were inadvertently thrown away. (Just found my missing vegetable peeler, thank-you-very-much.)
Then I spread it in the garden.
After I have completely emptied the finished compost…
…which I guess I was not quite done with when I took this picture…
I use those large sticks, peels and shells that I had set aside as the base for the new pile, layering it directly on top of the dirt. On top of that, I put any leftover dried brown plant material, like asparagus tops or dead kale plants, leaves or raked brown grass
Then I cover up the other side and label with a skull and crossbones to warn the kids not to add to that pile. Well, not really. I just yell at them a lot when the inevitably screw up. So, in the photo above, the left side is now the “active” side and the other will be left alone until this time next year.
The only downside is that I never have enough. There was a point last year that I actually started catching grass clipping so that I’d have more stuff to add to the compost pile. Then I realized that was, well, insane. And I stopped.