Friday, May 7, 2010

Composting Nightmare

As if I needed more drama in my life, but I had this awful composting experience. My fault, of course. I've learned firsthand over the years that composting takes some degree of effort, especially when dealing with food. There are certain things they encourage you to avoid, like meats and dairy, and certain steps you should take to the make the experience more enjoyable, or should I say, less unpleasant. Of course, I ignore all these directives.

While we don't put a lot of meat in the compost, we put some, as well as bits of cheese and a stray piece of bread or two. Our two bins were getting full, so I ordered a new on from the folks over at solid waste management, and now were were set to be composting masters.

My goal is to rotate the compost between the bins to allow for aeration and mixing, since it's really hard to mix compost inside of the bin. There's just not a lot of space.

Our old bin was looking good, the compost actually looked like soil, and no smell. The second bin, however, was another story. I should have known something was wrong when I saw all those flies around it. Very out of character. When I opened it up and mixed it around, not only did the smell practically knock me off my feet, but the view will haunt me for the next few years. We are talking raw sewage, and fly (and their offspring) city. Disgusting.

I'd forgotten my initial plan of mixing in straw between the layers. I had been just tossing in food all Winter, and now it was a mess. I went to work and mixed the slop, throwing in handfuls of straw. My goal is to transfer it to the new bin and let it sit for another year. The old bin is ready to spread, which I'll do in the Fall, and then we'll have one empty bin for the coming year.

Until the next time, thanks for reading.

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