Ok so I need to admit something to you.
I suck at composting.
Like I’m terrible at it. After 8 years of gardening you’d think I would of mastered it by now but I’m a tad lazy with the composting balance.
I still toss kitchen veggie/fruit scraps into a pile, sometimes some chicken bedding, sometimes I stir the pile. Sometimes I add some old tp rolls and shredded cardboard to the mix. I always have too much green and not enough brown. Other times I’ll add all the chicken bedding into the compost then not have enough greens. I wish I could say we have an abundance of leaves for brown matter but we live in an evergreen forest. Oh yes and watering and turning the pile? Making sure it’s in the sun for warmth.?Forget about it!
More often than not, I’ve learned to use my half-assed ‘compost’ for new garden beds which looks more like composting scraps than beautiful black gold.
I know it’s so great for the soil but yet I’ve yet to make enough effort to get better at it.
Part of the reason *ahem* excuse is that we get 6 months of colder temperatures here living in Canada and it’s too cold for the compost pile. My other reason has been bears. Every night we get bears except when they hibernate. I still toss lots of veggie scraps into the ‘compost pile’.
Now that we’re moving from the mountains to the valley where less bears are present, I’m determined to get my composting act in gear.
But guess what? I’m still pretty lazy *ahem* busy with the kids/baby/life and I don’t want to do all the work myself.
Source: Fix.com Blog
What is Compost?
Compost consists of: Green Matter (wet), Brown Matter (dry) Air & water.
Infographic from Global News
How to Compost the Lazy Easy Way
Now that you know what compost is, allow me to introduce ways for you to have amazing compost without actually doing the work yourself:
- Worms with Vermicomposting
- Chickens to scratch up and compost for you
Even though you still need to add the greens & the browns, chickens and worms can do all the work of turning the compost pile (the most tedious part in my opinion), They also keep the compost pile warmer on cooler days.
Worms are amazing!
Worms feed on the bacteria along with the leftovers. In doing so, they accelerate the process of digestion in two ways. First, as matter passes through their digestive system, it gets physically broken down, which provides the bacteria more surface area to act on. Second, worm guts add more bacteria and enzymes to the mix, which helps speed up the chemical reactions required to produce compost. The end products of worm digestion are castings: nutrient-rich additions to your indoor or outdoor soils. Learn more from Fix.
Source: Fix.com Blog
One of my favorite aspects of homesteading has been keeping chickens.
While I struggle to remember to toss the compost pile, the chickens will happily scratch and turn it for me. They’ll turn your green and brown matter into smaller pieces making it decompose faster. They will eat lots of it but they’ll poop it out offering you chicken manure (just make sure it’s decomposed before using it as chicken manure is too ‘hot’ for the garden). They also offer eggs or meat. Bonus bonus!
More on using chickens for composting:
- Chickens & Compost by 104 Homestead
- Chickens & Compost: a match made in heaven by RootSimple
- Composting with Chickens from BackyardChicken
- Putting your Chickens to work from Attainable Sustainable
I strongly feel that because I’m not great at composting (yet! I still have some ambition) using worms and chickens to do the work for me is the best method for our composting/garden system.
There are also some indoor composters like the Bokashi (affiliate link) but they always seem too small for the amount of compost our large family goes though in a week (has anyone tried them?).