Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Yes. Sometimes I share pictures of dirt.

Not just any old dirt though. It is compost! Finished, sifted, ready to use - and best of all - made by me.

I've been spending some time outside over the last couple of days. The compost needed attention somethin' fierce. So I harvested a batch, and made up a fresh one. Isn't it great? When it comes to my compost, I'm like a child who's just learned to tie her shoes: beaming with pride! And yes yes, I know I've showed you my compost before. But too bad, I'm showing it to you again. I can't help it. Look how amazing it is?

Give it time. I just know that, eventually, you'll come to love it as much as I do.

Here's one of the two louvered compost bins Lo made me. The front louvres (slanted boards) are removable and make accessing the pile so easy... Yes, he spoils me rotten, doesn't he? Hee hee.

And this is the standard compost recipe I use. I place the following fives ingredients in thin layers in the bin. Kinda like making a giant lasagna. Nummy.

As I layer my ingredients and the pile grows, I replace the wooden louvres. When I'm all done, the bin looks like this!

I do not know why, but for some reason I love the look of a newly filled compost bin. Isn't it pretty? Just look at those colours!

Over the course of several weeks or months (depending on my level of commitment), I will turn the compost pile now and again. I harvest the compost, at the very least, twice a year in spring and fall, and sometimes more if I'm really really good at sticking to a consistent turning regimen. But usually I'm not that good. One year, I did manage to harvest the compost 4 times between April and October. That was a good year!

Once the compost is ready, I use an old milk crate to sift out the good stuff. The crate is sturdy and performs like a champion.

Compost makes all the difference to the growth of our plants. They love the stuff. Sometimes I swear the garden whispers an audible "thanks" when I apply a fresh layer. 

Well who wouldn't?!



  1. Hello Michele,
    Being a city boy who likes to keep his hands clean, I cannot share in your pleasure, but I'm very happy it makes you happy. More power, and compost, to you.
    Have fun
    Big hug,

  2. This post came at just the right time. I do NOT harvest my compost often enough. GASP! Mainly because I have not figured out what to use to sift it. NOW I KNOW!!! You are a treasure!

  3. Ohh I have a big brown bag of browns for you! Can I send it?! I would love to be able to make my own compost, but with a 30 m2 patio rather than a garden, there’s no place.
    I have been gathering the leaves yesterday and discovered fungusses all over the place.
    It‘s 20oC todaym but Friday it will drop and we expect snow, the wet kind!
    I would love to have a bigger garden, I would be digging the durt all day and stop quilting! Don’t you love the smell of Autumn?
    Sorry, I can’t stop blattering about this season, my favourite!

  4. The milk crate is the BEST idea!!! Today you have won the internet YET AGAIN!

  5. As a fellow composter~~Yours is beeeeauuutiful!!!!!

  6. Hell yes! I also have a love affair with my compost. I will confess that I'm more neglectful than you but we keep a plastic bin and throw stuff in it and seal it up. I'm jealous of your slanted wooden crate! But, after a while I peek in and BEAM!!...beautiful, beautiful and free dirt! I tend to ignore the eggshells that don't break down but it hasn't been a problem so far. I love the mlk crate idea. I read a great book "Compost" by Ken Thompson and he encourages putting in paper towels and egg cartons as well as lots of paper, it seems to work great. It's like a game of 'how to make awesome dirt' and I love it.

  7. Good "dirty" work!!!
    xxxxx Alessandra

  8. You're so dedicated! I use our contained compost (one of those huge plastic black compost bins) mostly to compost kitchen scraps so our family garbage is reduced to only one kitchen bag per week on average. We can't use lovely wooden boxes like you've got due to Vancouver's overabundance of hairy vermin. We battle them constantly - they can chew through 1/8" hard plastic!

  9. Oh Michele you're so good with your compost! I chuck everything in my compost bin and just leave it! Every now and then I scoop some stuff out of the bottom from the special sneaky hatch and throw it on my garden - which seems pretty happy! Maybe more would grow if I turned and sifted etc!! I'm super impressed - yours looks amazing!!

  10. Love your compost! Your compost bin is much prettier than my cinder block lined pile. I just throw everything in a pile and turn and water it whenever the urge strikes, which isn't often enough. I love the milk crate idea to sift - I have never even sifted mine, but now I'll know what to use. Don't you just love the smell of compost? I have been known to pick up a handful just to smell it. Yes, I know I'm weird!

  11. Once again, you have impressed with your industriousness! I am one of those lazy "composters" who throws stuff in but forgets to turn it and water it too. And I even worked at an organic nursery for years; I should know better!
    Melissa q, don't worry about those eggshells breaking down. You can dump them right in your garden and they will go to work. Or you can crush them up and put around tender plants to deter slugs and snails.
    Good luck with the gardening Michele. I hope you have a rocking crop of winter vegetables to bestow that good ol "dirt" on.

  12. Thanks so much for sharing your compost process. I wish I had a place to make it here in the city. It does look pretty when you put the layers together and oh-what-a-miracle when you can make dirt out of all of that. Do you ever put your food scraps in like the skins of fruits and veggies or egg shell?

  13. This is very impressive. I admire your dedication (and your dirt!). My next door neighbors have a compost bin and I'm always eying it with jealousy. One day....

  14. Michele - when we moved from our old house I had awesome compost and my husband refused to move it! Can you believe that?



I want to know what you think... :)

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...