Do you know how to compost at home? Depending on where you live, there are probably certain ways to compost at home that work better than others. This suburban family composts their food scraps to create nutrient-rich finished compost for their garden.
The Compost Chronicles series highlights families in various circumstances who have all found a way to compost at home that works for their lifestyle. Hopefully, you can be inspired to give it a go and help our planet become a little healthier.
Did you know that composting can transform your trash into new life? And that new life, in the form of microbes, fungi, earthworms, and more, provides the foundation for much of all other healthy life on Earth?
Composting is a great way to create healthy soil to support people and our planet. Healthy soil is also a magical carbon sink that absorbs carbon from our atmosphere and helps cool the planet. While dead dirt has few living organisms, a teaspoon of healthy soil has more living organisms in it than the entire population of humans on Planet Earth!
We need everyone to learn how to compost at home and make it a part of everyday life.
Don’t think you can compost? We’ve got a whole set of resources on Everything To Know About How To Compost At Home, including more Compost Chronicles interviews. All of this information about how to compost at home will hopefully prove that just about anyone can make space and find a system to turn their food scraps into nutrient-rich compost to enrich our soil, feed our food cycle, and limit the food waste that ends up in landfills.
In this edition of Bring Your Trash To Life, we speak with Raymie, a mom and wife (and so much more, of course!) living in the suburbs of Kentucky. She uses a bucket that resides outdoors to save food scraps and then brings them to her outdoor compost bin once a week or so. She started her compost bin to put all her homemade baby food scraps to good use and hasn’t looked back.
Read on to hear more from Raymie about how she and her family use all their good food scraps to feed their garden.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself, where you live, your family, etc…?
I am a mother of two children and have been married for 16 years to my wonderfully supportive husband-even through all of my crazy ideas! We have been living in suburban Kentucky for the last 15 years, which was a huge adjustment from our life in Michigan!
Tell us a little bit about why you decided to start composting?
I have been composting for 10+ years. I started after my firstborn. I was concerned about the amount of homemade baby food waste we were producing. At times, our kitchen garbage can was full of just scraps of veggies and fruits. That encouraged me to buy my first compost bin, even though I had absolutely no clue what I was doing!
What methods of composting do you use or have you used?
I have always done the lasagna style of layering food waste over brown waste. I still use my original compost bin, which is open on the top with a lid. I also have a homemade wire Bin that I use for all of our leaves in the fall!
Did you have any methods you tried that didn’t work for you?
Through trial and error, I’ve slowly learned what works for me. I’ve only done the lasagna method!
How do you store the scraps until they are taken to your compost pile?
I keep a bucket on my back deck which is right next to the kitchen and has a screw-top lid. I usually take it out to the compost bin each week so it doesn’t get gross, particularly in the summer.
I learned that convenience is key for everyone in the family or they won’t do it! The only issue I have is sometimes in the winter the bucket freezes shut so I bring it inside for a few hours and then add the scraps to the compost bin.
Have you had any issues with animals or pests getting into your compost pile?
We have had one incident where an animal got into our compost bin and scattered scraps everywhere, but I blame myself for being lazy. I left the lid open and I didn’t put browns over it! That was the first and last time I was lazy about it!
Do you have any special tools, containers, or products that help make composting easier or more accessible for you?
I’m old fashioned! I only use a shovel and a pitchfork!
Do you have any other supplies that you store until you need to add them to your compost pile?
I get toilet paper rolls from the yoga studio where I teach and the dental office where I work as a dental hygienist. It works out great because I don’t have to worry about storing them.
How does your family feel about composting?
My family is a work in progress! I knew I finally engrained composting in them when my daughter, at age seven, brought home an apple core from her lunch so she could compost it. It took a few years to get them in the habit of composting. But after I put the bucket by the door to make it more convenient, they compost even tiny things like stems and seeds.
Have you experienced any benefits from composting, especially ones that might have surprised you?
When I first started composting it was only to reduce my waste, but now it’s also for my ever-expanding garden!
Anything else you’d like to share with readers about your composting practices, especially to help beginners gain confidence that they too can compost?
I love talking and helping beginners with composting! It’s an amazing way to give back to the earth. Besides reducing the amount of waste, you’re also giving vital nutrients back to the soil.