The winner of our compost contest was announced and her essay on composting magic was posted earlier, but there were others who shared great advice and fun stories. Dustin Hinrichs, one of our judges, noted that he enjoyed reading the “compostales.” I like Dustin’s terminology, so here are some of the compostales that were also entered in the contest. More will be posted later. Enjoy, and thanks to all who entered!
Duane Thys of Cedar Rapids:
I LOVE COMPOST!!
I HAVE BEEN COMPOSTING FOR OVER FORTY YEARS. PRESENTLY I HAVE TWO PLASTIC BINS AND A WIRE CAGE. I ‘FEED’ THE BINS FROM THE CAGE WHICH HOLDS LEAVES AND GARDEN REFUSE. I LAYER GRASS CLIPPINGS, KITCHEN SCRAPS, DRYER LINT, PAPER, ETC., WITH THE LEAVES AND GRASS CLIPPINGS. I HAVE NEVER HAD ENOUGH COMPOST. I TOLD MY WIFE THAT I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE ALL THE COMPOST IN THE WORLD. SHE THINKS I’M NUTS.
I ALSO RAISE RED WORMS. THESE ORIGINALLY WERE FOR FISH BAIT ALTHOUGH I SECRETLY WAS THINKING ABOUT MORE COMPOST. THIS TURNED OUT BETTER THAN EXPECTED. THE WORMS MAKE EXCELLENT BAIT , BUT THE COMPOST IS AWESOME. USING TWO BUCKETS I DEVISED A COMPOST TEA MAKER . THIS BREW MAKES EVERYTHING FROM ASPARGAS TO ZENNIAS GROW.
GETTING ENOUGH ORGANIC MATERIAL HAS BECOME A PROBLEM. THE WORMS NOW EAT ALMOST ALL THE KITCHEN SCRAPS SO MY OTHER COMPOST SOMETIMES GOES WITHOUT. I TAKE LEAVES AND GRASS CLIPPINGS FROM NEIGHBORS. (EXCEPT THE ONES WITH DOGS)
I WAS TAUGHT NOT TO WASTE ANYTHING SO, COMPOSTING COMES NATURALLY TO ME. I CAN’T UNDERSTAND WHY SOMEONE WOULD THROW AWAY PERFECTLY GOOD GARBAGE.
Neena Miller of Scotch Grove:
The first time I was aware of the benefits of composting was when I was in ninth grade and had a pony (1968.)
Mucking out the stalls was my chore to do, in order to have my beloved pet, and, although it was hard work, it was very beneficial (especially to the summer garden.) Throughout my life, I have always known my mother to continue the composting tradition by collecting kitchen scraps and lawn clippings to add to the compost bin.
Today, I continue that tradition on the farm. I have a bucket under the sink for all kitchen scraps. I keep a dishcloth over the top, to keep away gnats. In the garden, I have a circle of wire (like chicken wire) where I deposit the kitchen scraps from my bucket, layering with yard clippings, leaves, manure and pulled weeds.
The different “green” debris and manure, which I variegate in the pile, create heat, which cooks the compost pile, creating a germ free “super” fertilizer for my new garden and potted plants. The “waste” factor of using a garbage disposer and flushing these valuable nutrients down the drain, or throwing leftover food products in plastic, non-biodegradable bags into our garbage dumps is huge.
In a situation in which we cannot dispose of kitchen waste immediately, we might simply freeze it in a plastic bag until we can. This way, our world and our lives can be replenished the way nature, and ultimately God, had designed.
Nancy Feldmann of Manchester:
I like to compost. It’s my way of giving back to the earth. You might say I’m a naturalist at heart, because I love gardening, composting, sun drying my laundry and saving gray water. I grew up on a farm in NE Iowa and things I learned there brought me to where I am today – an avid recycler of almost any product. All of my containers are recycled, I buy in bulk and reuse containers whenever possible. My composting method right now consists of a plastic laundry hamper with holes in it -I’d love to move up to more modern technology. All of my compost feeds my garden soil, which in turn feeds my family. (Did I also say I am a Supervisor at Goodwill? I believe in helping people learn to be independent. Our people is our most important job at Goodwill and recycling is our second most important, which really coincides with my beliefs of giving back.)
Heather Hospodarsky of Cedar Rapids:
I love my newly found composting routine. We have a family of 6 and eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables. My newest composting helper is a cat litter bucket with a tight fitting lid. I was unable to find a bucket that would hold a few days worth of compost until a friend, with cats suggested this. It stays in the garage and I take the compost there as needed. Our bin several yards from our house and we empty the bucket a few times a week. It feels so good “recycling” our food waste instead of sending it to the landfill.