A ComPOST (and Happy Earth Day!)

Happy Earth Day Foodonia friends! For those who may not know, April 22 is Earth Day! It started in 1970 and in the 40 years since then there have been national and global efforts to reduce our impact on the Earth. How could you not love this day?

As my title hints at, this post isn’t so much about food, but is about compost…but without dirt we wouldn’t have food, so it works for me!

I consider myself a fairly Earth-friendly person; I try to unplug things I’m not using, bike or scooter when I can, and am a stickler for recycling (and doing so CORRECTLY, which is a huge pet peeve of mine). In a recent post I mentioned my trip to New Orleans, and part of this trip involved an afternoon touring an urban sustainability organization. There I learned about composting and was inspired to give it a try myself.

My compost in action, about two weeks in.

So, a couple weeks ago I ordered this little beauty, a tumbler composter of the  “mini” variety. It’s mini because it holds 7 cubic feet of waste, which is still quite a bit for me as an urban gardener, not so much for someone who has much more space than I. I also now have a compost kitchen keeper, which lets me store stuff in house for a few days without stinking up my apartment, and prevents me from making a million trips to the composter every week.

What will I be doing with this compost? I plan on starting a small (4″x6″) garden this summer. I say “plan” because I won’t let myself start until I graduate (I have enough distractions from my homework, I don’t need more). So, in mid-May I will be building a raised bed garden and attempting to become a successful urban gardener. I’m doing a raised bed to help ensure that I have better soil (Albany is known for having soil with raised levels of iron and lead, not so much a good thing).

Since I just started composting I won’t be able to start my garden with my own “black gold,” but since I bought a tumbler composter, I should be able to add my dirt to the garden sometime in the next 8-10 weeks. Of course, it will help if the sun starts shining more and my compost can heat, which speeds up the break down process.

In the mean time, I am finishing school and doing some research on what I should plant. Suggestions are welcome! My garden spot gets about eight hours of sunlight, so I think most things that grow around here will work.

And as my compost progresses I will post more pictures of the breakdown action! Also, special thanks to This Ordinary Citizen,  for contributing a lawn bag full of brown materials to start my first compost round!

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  1. #1 by Wade Abbott on April 22, 2011 - 8:23 PM

    Thanks for the mention! So glad that I could help you out. (Glad to put my yard raking to good use, too.)

    I’m looking forward to hearing more about your composting. We did a little of that when I was a kid. Good luck!

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