"These happy golden years are passing by, these happy golden years." Laura Ingalls Wilder

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I'm Just A Green Waste Freak!

"Stop, don't you dare throw that melon rind away ... said I to my youngin'. Pitch it in the compost pail underneath the sink." What started as a small backyard project last year ... composting ... [and I had my serious doubts about the whole process being raised a city mouse] ... has turned our vegetable discards and often the grass clippings into a beautiful pile of rich brown earth ... Other than my dawg occasionally snatching a piece of watermelon rind, there have been no critters visiting the heap. No offensive smells. The finished product actually smells rather nice. No special barrel ... just a layered pile off in the unseen area of our back forty. Now that I've been "cooking" up several batches for over a year, the process is rather quick ... especially in the summer months. Not convinced? How much do you spend for a good bag of organic garden humus? How many pounds of green waste do you send off to the landfill? Probably more than you think. My next quest is to figure a way to continue the process of collecting green waste during the winter ... perhaps storing it in a barrel in the garage or just outside the back door. It should just become one frozen lump ... at least outside. Anyone every try winter composting in a cold climate?

Do's and Don'ts:

Do add all veggie and fruit peels and any garden grown products. Cut up watermelon rind a bit and any other tougher skinned produce to help speed up the process. Do add crushed egg shells, coffee grounds and tea bags including the filters. Untreated grass clippings will get the pile cooking. Layers of brown waste ... i.e. dried leaves, newspapers. Never add meat, bones, oily foods as these will attract animals ... that's another type of composting I'm not ready for ;)

Composting does not take much time. It's rather a nice 'hobby' and the results are beneficial. If you live in the city or the country, there is a composting method just right for you. There are many great websites that give details for starting your own soil amending compost.

Side note: Why is it that all the media types and Hollywood elites and left of center wing nut politicians believe that they 'invented frugal green living'? Long before anyone heard about their causes, before the media age ... new age ... etc. our grandparents scraped by with what they had, grew their own farm fresh food, ate local and organic, made their own clothes, built their own sod homes, cooked and baked and even hung out their clothes to dry. No gas guzzlers sitting idle in their barns, and they only owned two sets of clothes ... one for work and the other for church. They didn't have to pay income tax and didn't have to worry about getting a ticket for not clicking it or using their blue tooth. Time to return to Green Acres. Care to join me?


Julie said...

Great ideas Mrs. Mac! My grandparents were composting years ago before it "caught on"! When I lived in Halifax, they started a city-wide program where everyone had a big green bin for the yard and a small one for the kitchen. You put your compost scraps in the small bin, then transferred it to the big bin when full. Every other week, the city would empty the bin into a big truck. It took a while for people to like that idea...they were concerned the bins would stink, etc. We are finally going to be getting that same system here where I live now. I live in an apartment, so...much as I would LOVE to compost, I don't think the neighbours would love me too much!

I thought my grandparents still composted in the winter, but maybe I'm wrong. I'm sure there must be something you can do in winter.

I changed my blog address...you can click on my link to find it (I hope...pretty sure it should take you to it). In case you were wondering where my blog had gone!

Have a great Friday!!

Terry said...

Dear Mrs. Mac...Bernie is the same way, only in our case we can't have compost in the back yard.
No, we have to put it in the special pail and each week the land-fill people pick it up.
Bernie keeps a close eye on me to make sure I don't throw any scraps into the regular garbage.
And also that I don't throw any recyclable cans or bottles into it either..He is a blue box freak!!

No wonder that poor Dawg is eating the water melon rinds!
You and Mr. Jim are one and the same, starving those poor critters, you feeding Dawg scraps of chicken [fast food chicken at that!] and Mr. Jim giving poor little Adi hot dog buns crusts once in a blue moon.
What's a dog to do? Poor little babes...Water melon rinds and strawberries. and sardines..Yummy!!
Happy recycling Mrs. Mac...Love Terry

Hi Julie!

Constance said...

My kids "lovingly" refer to me as the Recycling Nazi. (They wouldn't dare say this around my German born mother by the way). I have been known to pick through the trash and chide those who have dared to toss carboard, paper, cans, etc in the regular trash.

I am proud to say that we fill 2 of the largest sized curb-side recycling "dumpsters" each week. On average, we only throw out 1 large bag of trash a week! I have a plastic 39 gallon recycling can in the kitchen alongside my same sized regular trash can.

It's a good feeling to know that I am doing my own little part and that I almost have my family trained right!


Mrs. Mac said...

Julie ... I was wondering where you've been hiding ;) ...

Miss Terry ... so Bernie is a blue box freak ... good for him ... you should follow his example with the blue box (not the freak part;) ... and he wouldn't have to check up on your 'trash habits' ... (lol)

Connie ... my hubby is the light Nazi in our home ... and the older kids would drive him NUTS when they broke the rule about turning off stuff ... but now my eldest daughter has her own home and is the light Nazi over there ... it does rub off eventually ;)

Felisol said...

Dear Mrs. Mac,
Congratulations on your new site make-over.
Really classy, as all your work is.

My Mom has been composting for as long as I can remember, mostly garden waist, though, of fear from feeding snails and mice.
We too have a composting barrel. Started last year,no result so far. maybe it's just too cold and rainy. I don't know. Guess will have to try one more season. Gunnar has a grinder in which thin branches and hedge clipping are grown. We are not that bad either then, eh??
For years we've had to sort our waste in 4, paper, plastic, household waste and rest waste. It's no trouble really, once one get used to it.
Plastic bottles can be returned to the store for money. It's been years since I threw bottles.

Would you believe that my mom of 83, recently having suffered a stroke, still carries her wash out to wind dry. She has a tumble dryer, but "the clothes don't smell that fresh and clean from a tumble dryer," she stubbornly claims.

For now, good night;
From Felisol

Amrita said...

Great idea Mrs Mac. V make our compost too, but our sevants take avay the vegetalbe peels to feed thir animals.

Your house is very beautiful

Maggie Ann said...

I've always wanted to have a compost pile...our friend does and loves it. My hubby is afraid it will draw mice I guess. Hope you are having a restful weekend.

Margie said...

I think I am going to get started on this... sounds great, I'm all about recycling... I'm going to check this out!