Composting the Lazy Way

Are you afraid of composting? When you contemplate composting, do thoughts of worms and dirt and grime and smell and work and grossness flood your mind?

 

Left: a tiny version of our former compost pile. Right: our composter (black)

 

When people find out that we compost everything that could possibly go into a compost pile, they often tell me that they would like to compost but just don't have the time– or the knowledge– or the space– or a special composter built in a factory specifically for composting– or. . .

 

When you read all of the how-to's about composting, it does seem like composting would be your new part-time job. They list all of the things you can and cannot put into your composter. The list seems never-ending. Who can remember all of that without being an authority? Not to mention all of the things you are supposed to add to make the compost start to do its thing and all of the times you need to turn all the stuff you have put in.

 

I am here to tell you that composting does not have to be that hard. My family composted lots of our waste while I was growing up. We didn't use the nice, rich soil that it produced, but our food scraps didn't go into the trash. Not long after Hubby and I bought our first home, we began composting. We don't always end up putting the rich soil it produces on our garden, but we compost. I feel so much better knowing that my family's waste that would decompose is not now sealed up in the landfill to never break down or nourish any living thing. Instead, it can rot like God intended.

 

Now before you tune out because you think I'm some super human wife and momma, let me tell you. . .

we compost the lazy way.

And it still works.

 

Here's everything you really need to know in order to compost the lazy way:

 

 

You don't have to have a "real composter." For years we just had a big pile out beside our trash cans. It started out as a pile of brush and medium sized branches. Then we just started throwing our food scraps onto the pile. I really thought it might attract lots of critters who wanted to eat from our leftover food, but if it did I never noticed them. When we had a large amount of food sitting on top of the brush, we would just throw a bunch of weeds from weeding the garden or a shovel full of soil on top of the pile. By the following spring, we always had nice, rich compost at the bottom of the pile. We never turned it or anything.

If you are going to use this method, just be sure that you don't put your pile directly in the sun. The break down process generates a lot of heat. If it's where the sun makes it even hotter, then you could end up with a little fire in the summer months.

 

See all that rich soil? That was under all the brush and sticks- last year's brush.

 

We now have a "real composter" that Zarah won at a green living fair. I actually love having the closed in composter! Since things cannot escape out of the composter like they can off the top of a pile, we now add some paper products that are not suitable for the recycling or wood sticks from popsicles. Generally, things that will decompose that I would not have thought to throw on the compost pile.

 

The only rules that are make-it-or-break-it rules are about what you should NOT put into your compost pile. We try not to put protein or lots of oil into our composter. Basically that means no meat or dairy. No salad dressing. Those types of things we normally just throw into the trash can. If a little bit gets into the composter, it's not a big deal, but we try to avoid it.

If it looks too wet and mucky in there, we add some leaves or weeds or something else that's dry.

You could throw some shovels of soil and some worms in there if you like. We normally don't, although we always plan to do it. Our composter is sitting on the soil so worms find their way up into the muck. It all breaks down eventually.

When we started really being strict on composting everything that we could, we cut our amout of trash down to one third of the amount that it was before. That really surprised us!

 

I will warn you– it's not pretty in there. But did you really expect it to be?

 

 

Composting the lazy way.

It works for me.

 

 

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5 thoughts on “Composting the Lazy Way

  1. I love your lazy way of composting. We’ve thought about composting, but right now all of our fruit & veggie scraps go to chickens. We recycle everything possible. So the only stuff that we’d compost is the coffee grounds, tea bags & yard debris. We have a yard debris container with our garbage/recycle that that stuff all goes into.

    Between the recycle & giving all our scraps to chickens we use about 3/4 of a 13 gallon garbage bag a week. For a family of 3. Sure is nice! We’d prefer not to even have weekly garbage service, but they don’t offer pickup every other week! 🙂

  2. I remembered to check that I’m human! YEA! Ok…I’ve been staring at a pile of yard debris thinking I ought to compost that stuff! TahDAH! Now, I’m going to all thanks to you!

  3. I know this is an older post, but I stumbled across it and was interested because I’m just about to write the same thing! 🙂 We have a “compost pile” at the far end of the field that is just…well…a pile. Two or three times a year we clean out the barn and just add it to “the pile” which sits outside in a heap 24/7/365. If we want compost for something, we go out there with a tractor bucket and scrap down the side until we can dig into the middle/bottom of the pile and scoop out some rich, black compost. Obviously this is bigger than your backyard heap, but same principle. We do our backyard bin the same. It’s an open box made out of pallets in the corner of our garden and we just throw everything in there all year. At the end of the year we pick it up and move it to a new spot. We shovel the very top of the pile back into the box in the new spot and rake the beautiful black compost in the middle/bottom of the pile into the garden rows. Pretty simple, really.

  4. Oh Connie, Thank you for posting this! Our homeschooling family will be starting our first in ground veggie garden and composting is one thing we wanted to tackle. You are so right, all the instructions seem like an impossible task and just….way to much work. But your method has given me some composting hope 🙂 thanks for sharing. By the way, it’s by first time visiting your blog and I really enjoyed being here 🙂 I would love for you to add it to my fav blog list http://bit.ly/WW62kw that I JUST started. Thanks again, you’re a doll

  5. Compost is one of nature’s best mulches and soil amendments, and you can use it instead of business fertilizers. Best of all, compost is shoddy. You can make it without spending a cent. Using compost improves soil structure, texture, and aeration and increases the soil’s water-holding capacity.

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