Winter Composting

January 27, 2013

We had a cold week and the bucket of kitchen scraps got pretty full this week.  Now the weather has warmed up and this coming week it will be up over 50 degrees F, so I needed to get the scraps out to the compost pile.

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The goal is to have two parts brown waste to one part green, but my pile is mostly brown leaves in the fall and gradually I add the “green,” which is mostly kitchen scraps.

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The pile is less frozen on the south side and wherever it is mostly leaves.  I just dig a few holes and divide up the food scraps.

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I throw the food in the hole and cover it with leaves.  There is rarely any smell from my pile.  If there were a smell it might mean that I need to adjust the water or oxygen or something else.  The dark compost next summer will be great for nourishing the soil.  They say that HALF of the food bought in grocery stores goes into landfills and this is bad for greenhouse gases, so composting is something easy most of us can do.

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Geese at Lake Katherine.  We finally had just over an inch of snow in Chicago after 355 days since the last measurable snowfall.  That was a new record.  But one inch is not much and we are still in drought conditions here.  Today we have freezing raining, which helps a little.

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I planted some lettuce seeds to see if I can grow a little crop inside for us to eat over the next few months.  I have two different seed packets and I will see which one does better.  I will put them in two different locations.  I have started flower seeds inside before, but this is the first time for lettuce, which I have always just grown outside.


3 Responses to “Winter Composting”

  1. Diane C said

    We have a compost in a plastic bin especially made for composting and our town picks up and composts kitchen scraps. I was just wondering, with the winter compost so open, do you not have trouble with rats?

  2. We are in the suburbs and I am not sure how many rats are in our neighborhood. There are mice, though, and they definitely visit or hang out in the compost pile. Since it is 75 feet from my house this is not a problem. Besides that there is at least one local cat, if not two, that visits the yard. In the spring I have seen a small snake keeping warm in the pile, and I think they like mice. So it all just adds to the biodiversity, which is healthy for our planet. If I were in a place with rats I might have a bin like you.

  3. Eleenie said

    It wasn’t until we created our compost pile that we realised how many scraps we disposed of in the bin everyday. At least now they’re getting put to good use. And you can’t beat compost that you make yourself, much nicer!

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