About Me

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My tremendously supportive husband & I have 3 wonderful children, 1 dog, 12 laying hens, 2 dairy goats, 3 bee hives, and a 2000 sq foot vegetable garden on a small 1/4 acre lot in the city. In the center of it all is our small 1,000 sq foot house purchased in 2008 as a foreclosure that we fully renovated to host our growing family, home school adventures, and small home business (CozyLeaf.com). We have a desire to learn a path to self sufficiency finding ways to be good stewards of the resources God has given us. We want to learn to live with less as we laydown roots to our little homestead.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Steps to Building a compost Pile Step by Step Composting

We haven't been composting for too long, but it sure is rewarding when you finally get to sift out your turned compost and put it back into the garden! There are SO many benefits to composting both personally and globally. You can have rich organic soil made right in your own back yard and it really is easy!! Reducing the amount of garbage you set at the curb each week for the dump truck to pick up as well as adding quality to the soil in your own back yard...all you need is a little time and a little patience :)

Steps to Composting:

1: Have a Kitchen Compost Bin Pail. You can buy them or you can make one yourself.

2: Choose the best outdoor composting option for you and your family. There are open and closed methods.

3: Pick out a location for your compost pile or compost bin tumbler outside.  Location, Location, Location! Make it convenient and easy to get to, but also away from animals you don't want to have in your compost. Keep in mind what items you are going to be taking to the compost and how often (kitchen scraps, garden scraps, animal barn straw and manure, grass clippings, etc etc).  If you live in the city like we do it really isn't a big deal where we put the compost pile because our yard is so small it is relatively close to everything!

4: Fill it up! Know what to compost and what NOT to compost! (Basically just don't compost meat, dairy, cooked food, or dog or cat poo). You can also look into getting some earth worms at your local bait shop to put into your compost...any earthworm is great, but the best for your compost are "red wigglers".

5: Wait! This is the most important part and is also the part that can vary. If your compost has the exact amount of moisture and air flow it could be ready in as little as 6 weeks...so Ive heard! (Ours usually sits in the first rotation location for about 6-10 weeks then is turned over into the second rotation location for another 6-10 weeks and then depending on if it is ready from there it may go to location 3 for another 6-10 weeks before being sifted into rich compost for the garden.)

6: Rotate it! Depending on the method you choose you may or may not need to turn the pile every 6 weeks or so to allow some airflow and even composting. Make sure your compost gets even moisture and heat to help breakdown the pile quickly and effectively. Use a pitch fork to help turn and check the center of your compost pile.
7: Screening your compost to have wonderful organic matter for your garden
8: Lay it on your garden beds and watch your plants grow!

This is FREE fertilizer and it is the very best thing you can do for your garden! We don't have any special compost structures or equipment, just some time and work! Give composting a try it really isn't that hard...besides you just be throwing the stuff away anyway :)

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