12 April 2009

Composing Compost

Disclaimer: I'm not a garden expert---(I know you are all saying 'duh' right now!!) -- but I am a definite wannabe one and I do have a bit of experience in our little bit of country for these many years. I've also learned a lot from my best friend who has more gardening experience then I, from garden books I've collected over the years and from state extension/other gardening websites. That being said -- I am still in the process of learning about the following topic--composting.

One thing all gardeners have to deal with is the yard debris that we seem to collect large quantities of -- that and kitchen scraps (the latter being true for all people not just gardeners--LOL!). Now in the urban areas people often have collection bins for this kind of thing; here in the country we don't have that option--but even if we did I'd still prefer to have some sort of compost pile - but

(warning! confession ahead)...
until this year we didn't have much of a system to deal with all of the grass clippings, weeds and such that we produce here. At one time we had an unofficial sheet compost 'pile' --and it did produce real compost. It's also true that we have used grass clippings before, in an unofficial way, to mulch one of our landscaped garden beds (I was less fond of this as it tended to mound up the way we did it in a very unbecoming way; not the right way I'm sure!).

We also have had a burn pile/garden dump area for a long time---but what I dreamed of having was a regular, semi-enclosed "as seen in" gardening magazines or websites compost pile AND a separate burn pile, and that was that (I can be a very determined woman...). So despite some dissension on this subject in our family, I took the task on.
I did not want to spend any money on this new little addition to our land and I wanted to be a good steward too; that meant trying to use what we had available. What I had my eye on was the fence/pen enclosure that our now grown dogs had stayed in as puppies. Of course, it was still where it had been then--um, those many years ago. But as I have said---I can be a very determined (some would say unkindly---stubborn) woman. I set to work...
after much tugging from me and my son, use of tools, giving up, going back, yelling, tugging with prayer with use of tools and tugging the fence was free at last and it was moved to the main garden area where it was set up awhile later.
And then the fun began...by that I mean countless loads of weeds, grasses, small twigs, dried leaves and grass, sod and more of the same. All went the same direction--to their new little home which made this gardener very, very happy!

Still to come will be the kitchen scraps (egg shells, fruit, veggies, etc--no meat), maybe manure and some other things. In time we shall see what comes of this compost and if the composition turns out to be a masterpiece or not.

Blessings, aimee
Do any of you compost and what has been your experience with it?
Note: I might have to add stakes for support to the fencing--it is meant to stand on its own but with the wind we get at times this may still be necessary.

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