Good Black Gold

7 Jun

Compost bin- third layer- old potting soil


The ideology of sustainability in gardens and farming has been part of my lexicon for a very long time. Given that the earth has traditionally provided its own resources, and given that reliance on foreign resources is relatively recent, it just makes sense to have the earth work within itself. It wasn’t until I became a gardener that I transferred that ideology into practical concrete actions.

Part of that recycle, upcycle living means composting, and I was ashamed that I wasn’t practicing what I viewed as essential. Well, no more.

Last weekend, I created my first compost bin. A week later, and I am already craving to create another.

A free vet supplies bin. Go to vet clinics, they will be more than willing to get rid of some of these!

I found this vet supplies bin for free which locks itself so that no critters can open it. I whipped out the hand drill (god, how I love power tools!) and using the biggest bit, drilled holes on all sides.

I filled the first part with brown organic materials, mainly dried leaves left over from the fall.

For the second layer, I added some organic fertilizer and some store bought mushroom compost I had been using on the garden soil. This acts as an activator, I read.

The third layer is old potting soil that needs nutrients.

The last layer is all veggie waste, scraps from the kitchen, and coffee grounds. Refer to this list for knowing what to put in there and what not to.

I mixed the layers well and poured some water, enough to make it moist but not wet.

Now, time for the sun to do its job!

I read quite a few articles on composting and opted to do what feels most natural to me, which ends up borrowing from several of those sources. I’ll include those links at the bottom.

In a mere few days I have seen the colors change in the bin, and I am itching to create a new one to keep filling with kitchen waste. We eat a LOT of veggies and fruits a day, we need to compost the peels!

I’m excited about growing black gold for the garden, and being one step closer to sustainability. Water conservation, well, that’s another story… one step at a time…

Here are some of those sources I consulted:


4 Responses to “Good Black Gold”

  1. folksyhome June 12, 2012 at 9:48 am #

    Nice compost bin! Ours is made of pallets, and it’s not as easy to turn as I’d like, but it works. The hardest part of composting, for me, is emptying the kitchen bin. I procrastinate so much I’ll push it until there are beet greens flapping over the sides. Not pretty.

    • michellethegrower June 12, 2012 at 1:14 pm #

      I’ve been good so far, taking it out every other day, but then again, it’s still new and fresh for me! It’s a moment of excitement for me to take the scraps to the compost! Whoohoo! 😛 I’m sure the thrill will fade. When it does, I might just have my toddler do it. 🙂

  2. dre achilleus June 12, 2012 at 1:04 pm #

    Vet supply bins FTW! What an awesome idea. Our compost “bin” is proof that if you toss veg scraps and grass clippings and leaves in a pile in the corner of the back yard, it will if fact turn in to soil… someday. Lol. Are you thinking about adding some redworms to the mix?

    • michellethegrower June 12, 2012 at 1:18 pm #

      Thanks! I’m hoping the worms will find their way through the holes on their own. I hope that’s not wishful thinking! … and your method of composting seems a lot more natural than a bright blue plastic box! 🙂

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