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#61 of 252 Old 05-04-2005, 09:22 PM
 
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This is a great thread, I am so glad that I found it. I have been doing research in general on the web and haven't found other discussions likes this. And I didn't really realize about keeping the kitchen scraps covered all the time with leaves, grass, etc. I was about to go out and do it the cheap way with the Rubbermaid garbage can (and drill some holes) and just throw in the scraps with some twigs on the bottom, but now I realize I need to think about this more seriously. I dont' want the possibility of flies, as we have a small back yard that I hope to have a baby blow up pool in this summer.

I was curious about what thoughts are on garbage disposals - I know it's not composting, but what are the composter who can't currently compost thoughts on these appliciances (the ones installed in your sink).

I hate throwing away all of those organic kitchen wastes, and I have 3 ziplock bags full in the freezer I have been saving for the week - but seeing that I'm expecting in about a month, I don't think I am going to be able to go out and do this project. Also I don't know how the landlord would feel. Also, we don't have any lawn scraps! I'm so sad I am realizing that composting right now isn't in the cards for us...

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#62 of 252 Old 05-27-2005, 03:35 AM
 
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hey there...also new to this thread...
we just built a great 3 bin wooden compost pile, and everythings going well (apart from some flies, but I'll start using the covering method)

I was just wondering, we don't use all organic produce at home (cost prohibitive) and we do throw our conventionally farmed peels on the pile. Would this just add all those pesticides and nasty sprays back into our veggie garden? Is this a no-no if you want healthier organic veggies?
Do the pesticides break down or dissipate with time?

I reckoned that as long as we don't spray our veggies directly then they should be okay...what do you all think?
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#63 of 252 Old 07-09-2005, 09:52 PM
 
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We're new to composting.
My boyfriend actually grew up with a compost pile, but they lived up in the middle of nowhere, so the compost was just a big pile away from the house.
We live in the city, and the houses are built rather close to the neighbor's houses.
We've started a compost using the outside stuff and kitchen scraps. We are using a rubbermaid trashcan w/ holes in it : and so far, it's looking quite good, everything seems to be breaking down nicely and the smell isn't bad at all.

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#64 of 252 Old 08-05-2005, 09:59 AM
 
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Hi! I'm a new composter - I've been interested in starting since we moved back into our house (after a house fire last year) and have been following this thread with great interest.

I found that our DPW sells earth machine compost bins for about $20 and got one yesterday. I have been saving veggie and fruit scraps for a month and have plenty of yard waste, so I'm hoping it won't be too hard to get a nice pile going.

Hopfully next year I'll have a good amount of compost and can start gardening with it - we need some new landscaping around here.

Thanks for all of the information!
Take care,

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#65 of 252 Old 12-30-2005, 10:03 PM
 
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Wow, a compost thread!

I've got some questions. I started composting with a pile in the yard: old horse manure (we have friends who keep horses) and apple peels. I covered it with a little bit of dirt and just left it.

1. Are the wooden pallets/plastic containers really necessary for a fairly small pile? I don't think I have space for the shipping pallet composter (though if I can get some I will certainly try gardening with them as raised beds ).

2. My pile is very small and when we had a few cold days it froze straight through. It was also covered in snow for a while (we got about 8 inches, and will probably get more in Jan & Feb). How do you turn it when it's frozen? Is that necessary?

3. When you say "green" vs. "brown," what do you mean? How about "hot" vs. "really hot?" How hot does a compost pile ideally need to be?

4. What do you do if you can't get sawdust, wood chips, or anything like that for your pile? Are those things necessary?

5. I've always been told that you *shouldn't* put eggshells into a compost pile. Can I do this?!

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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#66 of 252 Old 03-23-2006, 04:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chanley
Here is an article I wrote on the subject, hope this helps.



The Dirt on Composting
My favorite way of constructing a compost pile is to use pallets. Shipping pallets are made of untreated lumber (it is important NOT to use treated lumber, it can leach harmful chemicals into your compost pile). Rather than nail them together, take some bungee cords and hold the 4 pallets together. Then add a bottom made of chicken wire OR line the bottom of the pile with twigs.
Thanks for the info., as I moved to the city and needed a way to compost! I cannot stand putting kitchen scraps in the garbage. (Such a waste.) This is very helpful!

I'm off to find more bungee cords and some pallets. That way my scraps won't be in a pile in the yard (which dh can't stand. He wants them in a container.) Okay.
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#67 of 252 Old 03-27-2006, 06:25 PM
 
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I've got my "bin" set up, I'm just using 4 metal stakes and plastic anti-rabbit fencing. Now for the not-so-fun part--hauling all the leaves that were mulching my garden into the pile!
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#68 of 252 Old 05-10-2006, 09:26 PM
 
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This is going to be my summer project with the DSs this year.

I have 2 questions, too.

What is the advantage to having a 2- or 3-bin structure, as some have said they have?

I have a gardening book & it shows a picture of a composting bin that has a little plastic roof on it. What's up with that? Is it OK to do? I imagine if it doesn't have a roof, the pile would get hugely wet wet wet during a real spring soaker.
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#69 of 252 Old 05-10-2006, 10:15 PM
 
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I'm new to composting and just saw this thread too...
I bought a bin with a lid from the county.

I've been filling it with kitchen scraps (no meat) and also with the bedding to our guinea pig cage. I have a ton of flies and some maggots...when I open the lid the flies are all over. I don't notice any foul smells. The lid doesn't seem to be latching on properly - is that the problem? Are all these flies normal? Anything I can do?
How long does it take before I should see any compost/dirt?


As a side note- my dd1 is so interested in composting! We set it up together and take all the stuff out at the end of the day. She plays a compost game too where she pretends to decompose!! It's so cute!
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#70 of 252 Old 07-10-2006, 07:45 PM
 
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New to composting...



A lot of people on this thread have talked about having too much green material.

What about adding newspaper?

I have heard that newspaper is a great brown material. Especially in the summer months when we are knee-deep in grass clippings and old veggies.
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#71 of 252 Old 08-24-2006, 03:02 AM
 
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Right now, I buy 1/2 organic and 1/2 not. If I want to have a totally organic veggie garden, should I only compost the organic stuff and put the rest down the sink??????

anyone know???
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#72 of 252 Old 08-31-2006, 09:15 PM
 
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I'd put only organic, as I want the soil to be made up of pure contents.
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#73 of 252 Old 09-02-2006, 11:44 PM
 
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My compost bin (an Earth Machine) has been crawling with maggots the last several days, and today there was a roach sitting on top of the pile . I read the rest of the thread, but I'm not completely sure what I need to do. I'm guessing my mistakes are a) getting the pile too wet (I've been watering somewhat frequently), b) adding too many kitchen scraps and not enough "brown" stuff, and c) not turning it enough.

My question though, is Can I fix it??? If I turn it a bunch, and add lots of leaves, pine straw, etc, will the maggots die and the stuff start to compost properly again? Anything I can do to get rid of the bugs and maggots?

Thanks!
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#74 of 252 Old 09-10-2006, 08:11 PM
 
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I hope there is enough action in this thread for someone to read my post! I was just reading about not using Poo in your composter if you use your compost in a veggie garden. Does that only pertain to humans and animals who eat meat? We live on a tiny hobby farm and my inlaws put the manure from sheep, goats, and rabbits in the veggie garden every year. Its gross to me but they say it is okay. Should we not be doing this????? Its my garden so I have the say so.

Married to DH 7 years and have three fantastic kiddos! DS 6, DD 4, and DS 2 ...... lo and behold another is on the way!

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#75 of 252 Old 09-10-2006, 08:51 PM
 
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I don't know...I put our guinea pigs droppings ibn ours....I was told that was fine...so rabbit, sheep, etc should be fine too...but I'm new to this as well.
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#76 of 252 Old 09-11-2006, 06:42 PM
 
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From what I understand, poo from herbivores is fine, but carnivores is not. So sheep, goats, chickens, etc manure should be just fine, and quite helpful to the compost, really!
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#77 of 252 Old 11-29-2006, 05:45 PM
 
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Subbing!
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#78 of 252 Old 12-11-2006, 05:05 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenoline View Post
My compost bin (an Earth Machine) has been crawling with maggots the last several days, and today there was a roach sitting on top of the pile . I
I used to have one of those earth machines long ago and had the same problem.I guess that too much water and the opening will do the trick for the little creatures to propagate. I now just finished making a new compost bin from an used plastic bin. We cut a door, put hinges and latches, my husband made a frame with wheels and it will sit against the wheels so I can easily turn it after every load. I guess the earth amchine was bad because of that too. I could not turn the compost unless taking it all out. I will take a picture of our new compost and post it here.

Have fun and best luck.
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#79 of 252 Old 12-11-2006, 05:19 PM
 
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Here are the pics of our fresh built composter. We just finished yesterday evening, so as soon as dh gets home from work and are putting it out and loading it for the final test.

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g2...s/DSCN2979.jpg
http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g2...s/DSCN2977.jpg
http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g2...s/DSCN2981.jpg
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#80 of 252 Old 03-02-2007, 12:43 PM
 
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#81 of 252 Old 03-06-2007, 12:30 AM
 
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Hopefully someone will see this since it is a sticky! I'm new to composting but have my composter ready for filling. I got it at Costco and it's a stand up bin type with a lid on top and a door on each side for lifting to get the ready stuff out. I have a few piece of grass in there from laying sod, and a couple twigs. Pretty puny size pile right now, Before I started putting in veggie scraps do I need to put some dirt in or anything? Or should i buy some hay/straw? Is hay/straw the same thing? We are in a new community, so there aren't any leaves laying around and so far we are the only home that has put in grass! So greens and browns are at a minimum. I was thinking that I could buy a bag of soil and use that to cover my scraps until we start to get some more leaves, twigs. But I can probably find some hay to buy too. TIA!
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#82 of 252 Old 03-06-2007, 12:20 PM
 
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l Before I started putting in veggie scraps do I need to put some dirt in or anything? Or should i buy some hay/straw? Is hay/straw the same thing? TIA!
Just toss it all in!

You could cover your scraps with some newspaper and the hay. Have fun!
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#83 of 252 Old 03-27-2007, 04:43 PM
 
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So, am I correct to asume that there should be no bugs or rats with a tumbler?
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#84 of 252 Old 04-15-2007, 06:32 PM
 
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We live in a townhome on .05 acre and create lots of greens, but very few browns. We have a homemade bin we got on freecycle. It is basically a large covered trash bin with holes drilled throughout.and a large opening on the bottom. We have just been putting kitchen scraps and grass clippings in for a few weeks, but I am trying to remedy that ASAP before the weather warms up and we start spending more time outside. Also, I want to eliminate the stink before the neighbors complain.

I am primarily composting to reduce our family's waste, but we do garden a little so I want to be able to use the compost in our mostly edible garden. It will not be entirely organic since we don't eat entirely organic (a great ideal, but too pricey/ hard to find to be exclusive about in our current circumstances), but I do want anything we grow using the compost to be at least as safe as the non-organics we buy at the store.

I will try to get my hands on some mulch or leaves, but in the meantime am looking to increase our browns using waste our family already creates:
cardboard (especially toilet paper & paper towel tubes)
shredded paper (should I worry about the bleach and ink? how much?)
bedding & poop from our rat cage (brand is carefresh - it is paper pulp based. our rats are not fed meat)
droppings from our arborvitae (sp?) - nothing really grows beneath it plus we have head to trim a few dead parts off, so I am hesitant to use it
newspaper

Any feedback on inclusion or my proposed browns, or other ideas for alternative browns for folks who want to compost primarily to reduce home waste?

Thanks & happy composting to all!

mom to a 7 year old lego fanatic and a 5 year old cross dresser
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#85 of 252 Old 05-08-2007, 01:07 PM
 
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Question: I know that you are not supposed to put meat, dairy, or oils/fats into the compost. I am confused, though. What about buttered toast? Macaroni and cheese? Things like that, where there is a lot of other stuff in addition to the no-no?

THANKS!
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#86 of 252 Old 05-09-2007, 04:15 AM
 
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Hi,
We personally feed all that type of stuff to either the chickens or the dogs, and then get compost from the chicken manure. I would avoid anything that will attract rats and mice (at least we do as we live on a farm where you get rats as big as poodles )

ANNIE - Crunchy WAHM to 2 boys & baby girl born 12July08 ~From contentment with little comes happiness â African Proverb
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#87 of 252 Old 05-10-2007, 12:45 PM
 
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I am new to composting but am very careful not to add anything that has any of the above mentioned ingredients in it. That means no buttered toast even! Better safe then sorry IMO. So not even the smallest bone, piece of meat scap, buttered pasta, etc. Only fruits and veggies that don't have any animal products on them like yougurt on fruit, and plain toast.
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#88 of 252 Old 05-11-2007, 09:52 AM
 
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I never allow any meat to go in...even tiny scraps. We don't use a lot of butter or dairy but there is some used here and so trace amounts might end up in the compost- pasta with a little butter on it for example. but I wouldn't dumps in soup with a heavy cream or anything like that.
Trace amounts of oil go in too...like pasta with olive oil on it. But not significant amounts.
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#89 of 252 Old 05-14-2007, 02:09 PM
 
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hi! i'm new to composting, but i inherited a slow cooking heap when we bought our new house. it's basically just a pile at the back of the yard made up of leaves and kitchen scraps.

last week i added grass clippings and shredded news paper and turned in the weeds (i think they were watermelon plants, actually) that were growing on it and aerated a bit with my cultivator. today i turned it top to bottom.

it's now sitting there in a lovely heap. it's about 2 feet high and wide and about 3 feet long. the material is still pretty rough. if i pulled from the bottom and sifted, i might have a couple gallons of finished compost.

i want to have a big strong batch ready for fall planting (august/september).

so here are my questions:

1. since this pile is getting close to a good size, should i keep adding greens and browns until it is 3x3 and then start a NEW pile?

3. do i need to stock pile my ingredients (kitchen scraps, grass, etc.) and only add when i turn or can i just dump them on top as they come?

4. when i start my new pile, do i need to stock pile first or can everything get mixed in together?

5. other than regular turning (my new strength training exercise), what else can i do to get the pile to go faster?

Rachel. Devoted wife and joyful mama to Beatrice June(2/25/08) and Leona Agnes (8/10/10).
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#90 of 252 Old 05-19-2007, 10:42 PM
 
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I'm new to composting and this sticky is very informative!

I have a couple questions, though. Is a pallet-constructed compost bin without a lid okay if we're adding kitchen waste to it? Won't animals get at it? Also, we have a screened in porch in the back (cement floor). Would it be a good idea to keep compost in there so no animals get to it and it is safe from the rain? Or should I keep it further from the house on the dirt?

One last question. I got a air-tight stainless steel canister that I'm using as our kitchen waste container. Is that okay? I don't need to keep it aerated while inside, do I?

Thanks!
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