Saturday, May 22, 2010

Reaping the Rewards of Composting

I have had a compost pile for years, but it wasn’t until a year ago that I vowed to compost more household waste. I must admit, I don’t turn my compost pile as often as I should. The only time it gets stirred up is probably once a year as I dig down to the bottom to rob whatever can be used in the garden. The rest of the year, household waste is pretty much just tossed in and piled on top.

Last year, I wanted to construct a new compost bin, then layer in the contents of this bin with leaves and other “browns” so that it would heat up and finish quicker. I never found the time to building the new bins. Maybe this year.

Luckily, compost happens with or without our help. My intention yesterday morning was to stir up the compost bin a bit and maybe find a little usable finished compost to top off some of the new square foot garden beds that had settled since filling.

I made a crude sifter out of some old hardware cloth and a couple of scrap 2x3s. Then I began digging:

A couple shovelfuls were placed on the sifter and worked through using a hand trowel:

It didn’t take long to accumulate a wheelbarrow full of beautiful, sifted compost:

There was more than enough to spread among the new square foot gardens and mix in:

I think I can scavenge another wheelbarrow full of finished compost from the bin. In the process I am stirring up the compost pile and breaking up larger clumps, so maybe by fall I will have more.


  1. Looks like black gold! I must admit I don't care for the compost much either and rarely mix brown material in. Like you said, compost happens on its own.

  2. I so love compost. I often don't take the time to sift it though. I just toss out the big chunks and use it. It probably isn't quite as good as your nicely sifted compost.

  3. Nothing like homemade compost. :)
    Looks great !

  4. Dan: I felt like I struck gold when I saw how wonderful it was!

    Daphne: I haven't sifted in the past, but there were a lot of chunks and dibris that needed to be sifted out.

    Miss M: Thanks! I was thrilled!