Friday, August 21, 2009

Composting - Our Garden Goes Full Circle

With some serious planting scheduled for the first of next month, it was high time to dig into that compost pile to pull out enough dark, beautiful soil to replenish our raised beds.

Yesterday was hot and humid, but I managed to spend the 1-1/2 hours needed to get the job done. Thankfully, the compost pile gets turned at the same time killing two birds with one stone (am I breaking some vegan protocol by saying that?).

Anyway, contrary to my assumptions about composting when I first moved into our house 4 years ago, composting is so easy! As you can probably tell from the photo above, there are two spots in the yard reserved for compost, one beside the other. When I'm ready to turn the compost (or turn AND sift), I just pull up that fencing, move it to the second spot and start tossing all those decomposing goodies into the new fenced area.

Thanks to my hubby and his sifter-building skills, sifting is easy and doesn't take much more
time. Rather than tossing it directly from one pile into the next, I first toss the compost debris into the sifter a couple pitchfork scoops at a time, letting the readied soil fall through and dumping the larger debris into the fenced compost area. Easy cheesy!

Truly, the cool part of all this is that much of what's in this compost are plant and food scraps that were grown right here in our backyard garden. That means all those veggies we grew in our garden are now composted and again replenishing the beds with their nutrients - full circle, the way nature intended.

By the time I was done, I had about 3/4 of a wheelbarrow full of compost. Isn't that gorgeous soil? I was too exhausted yesterday to apply it to the beds right away, so I let the birds have their fill of the bugs crawling around in it. But today, you can bet I'll be giving our raised beds a very special treat.

7 comments:

Joan said...

I started composting a year ago. My biggest surprise is when done right it is not gross like I thought it would be.

sharli said...

In Rylan's words, "put it in the compost so it can live again!" I may need to borrow that nifty sifter!

Heather @ SGF said...

Joan - Good for you!

Sharli -I love the stuff kids say. So true! Of course, I'm sure his mom has taught him a few things...

Chile said...

That is some beautiful soil, Heather! My sweetie made a very similar-looking sifter, but about half the size of yours. I need a larger one.

It's about time for me to turn/sift our compost but I haven't been motivated to do it since we're not planting in the ground right now. Until we get moved, everything new is going into planters. My sweetie's into hydroponics right now which doesn't use my compost. *sigh*

Heather @ SGF said...

Chile - I actually look forward to turning and sifting the compost bin. It's WONDERFUL exercise and totally hits different muscles than biking.

Chile said...

Actually, I enjoy playing in the compost, too. It's just been too darned hot lately! And, we need to come up with somewhere to put the finished compost....like a new home. :)

Heather @ SGF said...

Chile - I know what you mean about it being too hot. It was while turning and sifting compost that the heat exhaustion hit. I couldn't do more than a few minutes at a time without feeling like I was going to be sick or faint. I've been doing well since trying to stay hydrated. Thankfully, no more episodes since Sunday.