Thursday, November 20, 2014

Top Ten Turkey Day Tips

Turkey Day is on its way (or Tofurkey Day if that’s how you roll) and all I can think about is food. Warm fresh dinner rolls, stuffing (my fav), and pumpkin pie (my other fav). Here is a list of the top ten tips for composting on the most food-centric holiday of the year.

10. Plan  Buy only the amount of food you need to eliminate waste in the first place.

9. Prep  Do most of your composting during food prep. All those potato peels, green bean stems, and egg shells are great material for compost. Use an extra-large bowl to collect all your food scraps.

8. Green Beans — Compost any leftover vegetable if it is not too covered in cheese or cream.

7. Potatoes — Can also go in the compost if they are not overly buttered up or covered in cheese. (If you have leftover cheesy potatoes- can I stop by your house on Thanksgiving?).


5. Leftover wine or beer — YES and YES.

4. Decorations — Do you have any adorable little pumpkins or festive gourds decorating your table? Any flowers, gourds and the like would be compostable. Leave out the tiny plastic pilgrims.

3. Turkey — NO. No giblets, gravy, meat or bones. No part of your turkey should be composted (unless it’s a Tofurkey!)

2. Pie — NO. Leftover pie?! There’s never been much leftover pie at my Thanksgiving dinners. But if there is at yours, it should not go in your compost bin. Too many eggs, butter and other (delicious) pie ingredients.
1. Give Away — Packaging up leftovers to send home with your guests is far better than composting. I recommend asking guests to bring their own containers or send leftovers home with guests in clean butter tubs or old take out containers.
Happy Thanksgiving!!!




Thursday, November 13, 2014

How to Harvest Compost: A Pictorial

Last Sunday while the rest of the family was napping, I rolled up my sleeves and harvested my compost. I thought I would jump out of my comfort zone and rather than explain to you the steps in words, I would show you in photos.

With some captions, of course.


My Pre-Harvest Compost Bin

Tools for composting

The first stab with a pitchfork.

All unfinished compost came off the top and into this container.

Good stuff.

The finished compost goes onto a compost screen over my wheelbarrow.

I use my hands to push it over the screen so I do not guillotine any worms.
Next, I pulled the bin up off the pile to expose the really good bottom compost.
Losing daylight but still smiling. :)

I tossed all the non-compostables into a bucket. Mostly fruit stickers, pantyhose, and "compostable" plastic coffee lids.

Once all the finished compost was removed, I placed the bin back in place.

I threw in some leaves and straw-like grass at the bottom. This should provide a nice airy layer at the bottom to keep the pile more aerated.

On top of the straw and leaves I dumped the unfinished compost I pulled off in the beginning. There was some shoveling involved before this container was light enough to pick up (although feel free to think I have herculean-like strength).

In the past I have used 5-gallon buckets for this purpose and I think they were easier to handle.

Finally, I tossed some old tomato vines on top and finished with the lid.

If you have two compost bins, you can skip the removal of the unfinished compost and just wait for it all to compost. I might branch out and try that someday but this method works for me now.
So there you go, harvesting my compost in pictures. I even included an awkward makeup free "compost selfie" since I love you all so much. :)