I came, I saw, I composted!

By December 14, 2011 Uncategorized 5 Comments

I’ve made compost!

I realize that this is both misleading and underwhelming for most readers, since I myself didn’t exactly MAKE the compost—that was various small to extra-small organisms—and composting is old hat for a lot of you.

For me, however, successful compost is actually a first.

As many of you know, I haven’t had that long with any given garden, owing to a lot of moving around, so this is the longest I’ve ever been in a garden. And I had a compost bin, but it was sited very badly, on top of a hillside that’s a clay desert at the top and a swamp at the bottom. This sucked all the moisture out of the compost, and the hillside, when covered in leaves, became an ankle-breaking Zone of Treacherous Footing.

So I had given up on ever getting good compost. And that was okay, because I have great luck with sheet mulching, which is sort of in-ground composting, and the compost bin was still useful as a dumping ground for banana peels, onion tops, wilted lettuce and a great many eggshells.

Yesterday, in a fit of energy, with nothing much to do in the soggy and muddy and supposed-to-be-dormant garden, I moved the bin to someplace wetter and more easily accessible, and when I’d pitchforked the top layer into the wheelbarrow, what I found underneath was…compost.

Beautiful! Crumbly! Brown! Yes, okay, heavy on the eggshells. But compost! Six or seven buckets worth!

I dumped a bucket out on my future tomato spot, and then I stopped, because it’s the middle of winter and nothing really needs compost right now. But compost! Eeee! It’s like a magic trick! Even in the most inhospitable of locations, it works!


  • Donna B. says:

    I am another “newbie” composter… I do the ‘on site’ style, dig things under or near plants… I had innards of a butternut squash from Thanksgiving sprout and yielded me three fruit this year! mwahahaha.
    But this makes me want to go out and get myself a set spot for a proper compost pile… Triumph!

  • Jeff says:

    Congrats Newbie! We are also giving it a go for the first time. I have shreddededed about 6 hectares of leaves, assorted limbs and branches and built a mulch pen. Now just waiting for the magic to happen!

  • Jason says:

    I had a similar reaction the first time I got real compost from the compost bin. I’ve had some compost disasters, the worst of which involved one of those rotating compost barrels. What I got was the most disgusting green sludge you can imagine. Anyway, when I saw that I had achieved actual compost this past summer, I felt like my faith had been restored. Now I have two compost piles in the alley behind the fence, and look ahead to more brown gold.

  • Al the K says:

    Wanna experiment a bit? How about some charcoal?

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