Last Thursday when I came home from working all day, to my surprise I find Roy holding a beer admiring his work. At first I was confused by how or what this thing was going to do. Recently Roy subscribed to the Organic Gardener with our first issue arriving two weeks ago. During the past two weeks, he has been going on about building a compost bin/heap. I was like sure that is a great idea, we can throw all our scraps into something. Instead of me hurling them down the paddock in a new direction every couple of days.
A compost heap to me is a singular bin/area. Where you chuck veggie scraps, mulch and dirt into. That is what I know them to be from my childhood. Ours use to be in the chicken pen, so the chooks would go and scratch around and fingers crossed poo in there. The chooks act like a rotary hoes mixing the heap all on their own.
However Roy’s magical three bin system is really clever, with thanks to the Organic Gardener as inspiration. The August issue has a DIY compost bin with recylced materials. The one from the magazine looks new and shiny, well ours is … recycled. The tank that had burst on us a week before our block settled now cut up it was used as walls. The bits of timber are leftovers from a pallet that our build your own kitchen came on. Ok, so the nails and screws are new, that is it.
Once the structure was built, Roy explains to me how it works. The first bay on the left is where the magic happens, all our scraps go in there along with horse poo, mushroom compost and elephant grass which we have grown ourselves. Well our paddock is mostly elephant grass, but we are going to make use of every bit of it for mulch and compost. As we live in a rural setting we can pick up horse poo on the side of the road for $1 or $2 a bag. The mushroom compost is from a local mushroom farm for $1 a box. Bargain.
Yes I am getting side tracked by our marvelous cheap finds for filling our garden and compost. Step two, once the first bay is full, you then scoop it into the second bay. By turning it upside down. Then once the compost is ready for use it is then put into the third bin.
What do we put in our compost? We put just about everything in like citrus, eggshells, veggie scraps, fruit scraps, coffee grinds, tea bags, Roy’s pee, horse poo, mushroom compost, elephant grass, grass clippings and big clumps of clay. I have even found a few worms to drop in to help get the compost going. The only thing we are not putting in is meat scraps and bones.
This being our first compost together, it will be a learning curve for both of us. Tell me what do you put in your compost, is there something we should or shouldn’t be putting in there?