Will we finally compost successfully?

We've been composting in one way or another for about 8 years. And all 8 of those years have been spent learning. Seriously? In 8 years, you couldn't figure it out? Sadly, no.

When I was a kid, we had a 1/2 acre garden and dumped all of our scraps into the far end of the garden. They sat there and rotted until my dad tilled them into the ground in the Spring. Easy enough. It seemed to work. But then again, we were talking about 1/2 acre worth of produce scraps, a tractor, and parents. Things always seem easier when you're a kid and parents are doing the actual work.

Soon after we got married, my sister-in-law sent me a recipe for composting. I build a big square bin out of mesh, filled it with leaves and scraps and waited. It seemed to doing well, until it became full and heavy. The turning part sucked and it became a pit that sat without really breaking down. Actually, it became the local diner for a really disgusting muskrat.

I eventually quit. Then we moved and I renewed my interest in composting. I bought a compost ball.

It rocked. I could close it up and keep rodents out. I could roll it around to mix the compost. It had plenty of air holes for getting air in. Oh....yeah...that's part of why it sucked.

The air holes allowed compost ooze (compost tea?) to drip out all over me whenever I rolled the ball. Nasty. But that wasn't the worst part. As all compost piles do, it became heavy. Rolling it up and down the hill turned dangerous when it rolled back over me and a screw that was sticking out of the side sliced my leg open. Thank goodness I keep my tetanus shots up-to-date. I still have that scar. *sighs*

So I went back to the whip it and forget it method. I created a pit in our forest and just started whipping stuff. I turned it a few times, then I quit. And the stuff just stayed there rotting and stinking for years.

It was a failure and eventually, (Cover your ears!!) I just started throwing my scraps and yard waste in the trash.

But not anymore! We are back in the composting business, and this time we all seem to be happy.

We got this composter for less than $100. I set it into the forest, so it's no longer visible to neighbors (keeping my husband and neighbors happy) and I can spin it without having it roll me down. And no compost ooze dripping out.

It still keeps out most critters (not ants, sadly to say) and seems to be heating up already. I have been throwing more and more out in the compost bin (saving landfill spaces) and most importantly creating organic material for the garden. That's the best part. And it also gives my kids a job. They can take the compost out and roll it. Soon it will be too heavy for them to roll, but they can still fill it up.

Let's hope we can stick with it and get good compost to add to the garden soon. Execution to completion is part of the problem, so wish us luck!

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Thank you for your comments! I appreciate all your tips, advice, and well wishes!

Angela

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