While standing next to my compost pile this past weekend a friend remarked, “That’s some good looking dirt coming out of there.” And I could not agree more.
Since starting my pile, I have routinely added kitchen scraps like egg shells, unused parts of fruits and veggies, and coffee grounds along with leaves, chicken and horse manure, and other yard waste to create a robust compost. Periodically I will also toss in oyster shells (when I do not return them for recycling) or feathers from birds I have harvested. Most recently, I added the remnants of our Halloween pumpkins after our chickens had their fill. Making sure all of these ingredients have some moisture is important too; I occasionally fill a couple five gallon buckets from my rain barrels and pour that right on top.
Periodically, I give the pile a stir, turning over the newer material and allowing some air access to the pile’s depths. All of this effort has produced some exceptional topsoil for our gardens while also providing habitat and food for countless worms, insects, and other recyclers. Just recently, my son and I gathered a few dozen worms to take to our favorite fishing spot!
Now that I have had the experience of building and maintaining a compost pile, I can say with confidence that it is well worth the effort. You can easily minimize your volume of trash, create your own organic topsoil free of pesticides, and provide a resource for local fauna. Composting definitely can help you reduce, recycle, and reuse; imagine the impact on our gardens and landfills if we all did it?