Thursday, May 1, 2014

Thrifty Acres: A Simple Composting Tip

Hello! Vegetable gardeners - especially ones who garden organically - know that composting is very beneficial in adding nutrients to the soil. 

There are dozens of tips out there on composting: how to build a compost pile, how to maintain it, what to put in the pile, etc. Today I want to pass along a simple tip for the collection of kitchen scraps. 

Sure, you could traipse out to your compost pile after each pot of coffee has been brewed (coffee grounds), each egg has been cracked after making a cake (eggshells), each salad has been made (peelings and trimmings of vegetables) and so on - you get the idea. That's a bit of a hassle, so most people prefer some sort of storage container to hold their kitchen scraps until it's full and then adding the contents all at once to the compost pile.

One can buy containers specifically meant for storing kitchen scraps in the gardening catalogs. These containers have the advantage of looking attractive when sitting out on a kitchen counter and are designed to alleviate any odors that the kitchen scraps may emit. 

Such containers can be pricey,though, and I was too cheap to buy one. Then I read a suggestion somewhere that empty large plastic coffee containers (the kind that ground coffee from grocery stores come in) can be used. The person suggesting this tip commented that these containers have been designed to keep coffee odor-free, so they worked well for storing kitchen scraps designated for the compost pile. 

Decided to try it and lo and behold, it does work well. The container never smells, holds a decent amount of kitchen scraps, and washes out easily. Of course, it doesn't look as attractive as the gardening catalog versions do, so I dressed my coffee can up a little:

I just affixed some wallpaper scraps over the coffee can's logos. Okay, so it still just looks like a coffee can, but oh well. I'm  glad to recycle my kitchen scraps - less garbage in our trash can every week, more compost for our vegetable garden - and ultimately more organically-grown vegetables for our consumption - if our weather ever improves, that is! 


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