Sustainable Living // Composting for a total Beginner

Welcome to my first blog post of the sustainable living feature! Becoming more sustainable after moving out the acreage was a big must for me, so this was important for me to start learning about! This is just one of the many ways we are trying to make that happen! I am going to start adding to this series with all the ways we have/are trying to become more sustainable since we are able to now that we have the space living on the acreage! Hope you enjoy this series and have fun learning along side me!

So as soon as we pulled the trigger on the acreage I know I would be starting to compost for the benefit of my garden and future gardens! However, trying to LEARN about composting from YouTube and Pinterest etc can become extremely overwhelming. There are thousands of videos telling you how that are all slightly different. What do I need? When is it ready? How do I use it? What can go in it? Literally I watched 1000 you tube videos and I had decision aniexty I’m SURE, at one point I was like nope to confusing. In the end, I just started and went with the information I had learned so far and hoped for the best. So, sharing some information below I found helpful and how to get going!

So if you are like me, you’ve literally never done this or had anyone around you compost. I wanted to start in the townhouse so badly, but bylaws stated I couldn’t store anything like that in our backyard so alas, I was just watching and waiting! I am thrilled to have a compost bin going and feel great each week collecting kitchen scraps to add to our bin. There are different methods of composting, I believe the way I am doing it is called “hot” composting as I turn mine and re-mix the compost every couple of days!

Location & Storing

One of the first things I considered was what type of bin & location on the property. You can watch 100 videos of people with specialized compost bins that they built and that can instantly make it daunting. I started by getting a nice composting tumbler that you can turn and is on wheels. This is the tumbler I got linked HERE. I got this one to keep by the garden to compost with kitchen waste. I was thinking it might be the best option for keeping animals at bay! We will also keep a compost pile on the back of the property for bigger yard, duck and additional waste in a bigger capacity. I store this one on the edge of our garden and it gets a lot of sunlight to keep it warm. If you were building a pile you might not want it to be front and centre in your lawn so keep that in mind! I like this one as it has a closed lid and its easy to turn every couple of days.

What to Include in your Compost!

There are extensive lists out there on what can and cannot be included. I tried to make it simple stupid for myself to know what should be going in and then how to know if we need more or less. In simple turns they say you need green & brown (some will be super smart and call it nitrogen and carbon) I saw some conflicting information on ratios here so I am going to keep mine at 2 parts brown to 1 part green.

I actually saw this post with a composting infographic and printed it out to keep handy, it breaks it down into very simple steps. If you are feeling overwhelmed, just review this document and keep it easy! extensive. If I ever question something I normally do a quick search to see if its helpful for harmful.

This is one of the best visuals I saved on my phone while I learned!

What to use your Compost for

I was composting with the intent to help reduce our waste, previously we threw a lot of kitchen waste away and I hated it. I knew moving out to this property I could use it to help our garden thrive in the long term! Once my compost is done, I plan to use this soil for plant nutrients by adding it around the base of my garden plants. At first, it may only be for some of the bigger plants, but its super beneficial year after year to keep adding it to your garden! Here is one of the youtube videos I watched to learn how to use it one complete.

I had an issue…

in the first month of my composting journey I had the most INSANE red fire ant infestation. Man you guys, I was so stressed. I did a bit of research and learned it wouldn’t be the end of the world. Ants can be helpful as they move throughout your compost, burrowing holes and moving waste around. I was giving it some time to see if as the compost heated up and started to break down, ants would move on because they prefer cooler spots. Low and behold I just kept on keeping on and sure enough the ants left and compost started breaking down perfectly. Honestly, I just wanted to share that because its all trial and error while you learn about something new. I found the ant issue super discouraging but in the end it was no big deal! Because of this I was reading the top 5 issues and learning about the best ways to correct them. When you have issues there is normally a quick find solution!

Anyways, its not nearly as hard as I had imagined it to be and its been a fun little side project to learn about! The next thing I am working on it how to keep it going during the winter or IF that is a good idea for the tumbler at all! Stay tuned for what I learn on my sustainable living journey for composting!

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