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compost 101 - Page 9

post #161 of 252

Oh, yuck

So, I left my veggie scrap container sitting on the counter a little too long...when I dumped it in the compost pile this morning, there were maggots crawling around in it.
post #162 of 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by root*children View Post
You can put them in, they'll just be harder to deal with (physically) with the added weight.

As for mixing it at all, since it's so wet - you've just got to do it as much as you can... then come back to it another day and do some more - it won't take long before it's all mixed. To start, I would just push your shovel down in, and wiggle it around, making a kinda deep hole, as wide and deep as you can, then toss some of those leaves down in and cover them up with the gook. Keep working it in little by little like that every couple days.

THanks! It's great to get my questions answered!

Since the goal is to mix everything up, I assume it won't be a problem if I build it one place, and then transfer it to a compost bin once we make one?
post #163 of 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rikki Jean View Post
So, I left my veggie scrap container sitting on the counter a little too long...when I dumped it in the compost pile this morning, there were maggots crawling around in it.
nak

it got worse. i found about six crawling on my counter, a couple of which were on my cutting boards. yuck, yuck, yuck. needless to say, i had a lot of sanitizing to do.
post #164 of 252
Hi. I've been "composting" for a couple of years on a small scale(30 gallon bucket). After reading this thread I think I'm ummm not doing so well(bugs worms bacteria ohmy). I'm on the hunt for some kind of larger container, right now I still have to throw away about 1/2 or more of my compostables. I can't build a pallet, has to be enclosed (small yard stupid homeowners rules) I've been looking at all of the commercial ones which seem overinflated price-wise for a big plastic barrell, but maybe I'm missing something. So the pile I'm using is full of a million worms, so maybe I'm accidentally vermicomposting, or maybe not.

SO any recs for an "enclosed composter"?

Should it be a spinning one... I'm not good about stirring.

Do you have a pile for the recent scraps then another "mature" pile? If not how do you ever get finished product that doesn't have last weeks grass clippings?

What do I do with the mess I have now? Can I just dump the 1 million worms into the garden? Or is this an indicator that other bad things are growing in this pile too?

Sorry to be clueless... I read through about 8 pages of this thread and just became more confused...
post #165 of 252
I know nothing about actual plastic "composters", except that HOA SUCK!

But, I can reassure you that it's WONDERFUL that you have bugs and worms in there ...even maggots are fine (for the PP). And, infact with the maggots, I would look around if there's something hiding in the area you keep the compost that would have attracted all those maggots, like a dead mouse or something. Anyhow, compsosting is just a fancy word for rotting. All those bugs and worms are helping out the process, so let 'em be
post #166 of 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by root*children View Post
But, I can reassure you that it's WONDERFUL that you have bugs and worms in there ...even maggots are fine (for the PP). And, infact with the maggots, I would look around if there's something hiding in the area you keep the compost that would have attracted all those maggots, like a dead mouse or something. Anyhow, compsosting is just a fancy word for rotting. All those bugs and worms are helping out the process, so let 'em be
Oh, I know they're good for the compost, but I don't want them in my kitchen!

We had some flies come in, and the veggies were sitting there for like a week and a half, rotting, so I'm guessing that the flies just layed some eggs in there.
post #167 of 252
I don't remember which book I read it in (have been checking bunches out of the library) but it talked about using a blender to puree your kitchen scraps before you added them to the compost pile, they would break down faster and I'm trying to say they said it would keep animals out because the big scraps were not there (might be true fo some, but I can still see a dog digging around going after the smell) might be something to try though! My thought was it would be a mini chipper-shredder

I think I'll cross post this over in the decluttering forum in case folks are spring cleaning... maybe get someone hooked on composting
post #168 of 252
Ok - question. My ds and I are gluten sensitive. Since hay is just the stock that the wheat grew on, would puting it in my compost (and even mulching w/ it in my garden) gluten-nize us? Or would we stay contaminate free?
post #169 of 252
No, you'll be fine unless you start eating the hay. I believe you have to ingest the hay in order to get gluten, but I think it might even have to be the gluten in the seed itself. Anyway, you want straw not hay because the hay will have seeds in it. I think you'll be safe.
post #170 of 252
Gluten is a protean that is produced in the grain itself not absorbed through the roots so it's not going to absorb into the plants in your garden.
post #171 of 252
This thread has been so informative! After reading through everything, and reading the "You Grow Girl" book by Gayla Trail (highly reccomend) We decide to give composting another try. A few years back we bought the black box type from Costco. I never turned it, only used kitchen scraps, etc. I ended up with wasps nests, and all kids of yuck. Dh just built me a rotating composter: http://http://www.flickr.com/photos/55196031@N00/2423429601/

I got the barrel from an oil company, washed the heck out of it first! Dh cut a door and applied hinges and locks. He built the base out of two 2x4s, and put bed wheels on the top to spin the compost. The whole thing cost under $45 for a rotating composter.

I don't add my egg shells to the compost. I collect them over a period of time, grind them up, and apply them to tomato plants. THey need alot of calcium, which eggs shells are full of. I just add it into the soil, not leaving it sitting on top.
post #172 of 252
Here is our composter. We vermicompost./

Left side is new kitchen scraps. Right side is finishing compost/worm castings.

It's in a cedar box, about 2x2x3

http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/a...g/HPIM1442.jpg

http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/a...g/HPIM1441.jpg
post #173 of 252
Thank you so much Cathy and Rhiannon. Duh - straw, not hay.
post #174 of 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by notwonamesalike View Post
Here is our composter. We vermicompost./

Left side is new kitchen scraps. Right side is finishing compost/worm castings.

It's in a cedar box, about 2x2x3

http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/a...g/HPIM1442.jpg

http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/a...g/HPIM1441.jpg
That is really nice.
post #175 of 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by notwonamesalike View Post
Here is our composter. We vermicompost./

Left side is new kitchen scraps. Right side is finishing compost/worm castings.

It's in a cedar box, about 2x2x3

http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/a...g/HPIM1442.jpg

http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/a...g/HPIM1441.jpg
Is that a homemade composter? I want one!

Quote:
I don't add my egg shells to the compost. I collect them over a period of time, grind them up, and apply them to tomato plants. THey need alot of calcium, which eggs shells are full of. I just add it into the soil, not leaving it sitting on top.
Our egg shells go to the piggy, which in turn get added to the compost pile. Breaks down a lot quicker that way.
post #176 of 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by garden-gal View Post
Is that a homemade composter? I want one!

:

Currently I have a conflagration of plastic bins. I hate suburbia and Homeowners associations.
post #177 of 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by garden-gal View Post
Is that a homemade composter? I want one!


It is. I ordered it from www.northwestredworms.com

It helps that his business is literally 2 miles from my house. I would think they would be pretty easy to make though. (I was just too lazy.) We love ours. And...since vermicomposting doesn't smell, you can add seat cushions on the top and have outdoor seating. It's fun to tell friends and family they're sitting on trash and worms.
post #178 of 252
I'm so glad to have curbside compost pickup. We put everything compostable in a green bin, the city picks it up, and then we can get free compost if we want.
post #179 of 252

so excited!!!!

we got our compost tumbler today!! YAY! i am still stockpiling my greens... but compost here i come!
post #180 of 252

leaves in compost

Hi all. What a great thread! I have tried to read through everything but am only halfway through, so hope someone hasn't covered this already, but I have a question. I know you have to balance greens and browns in your pile, but does anyone know why some people warn against including too many leaves in your browns? I have heard this from a couple of my country relatives and having a huge bin full of leaves I am too embarrassed to ask why.

I have many trees so my browns are almost exclusively leaves and my pile seems to be doing well, but maybe it would get done faster if I used some newspaper instead of leaves? Or maybe the leaves make it hold in too much moisture? (I did have to make a cover for it last winter because it was getting sopping wet from rain and snow.) Has anyone had a problem with too many leaves in their pile? Thanks!
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