Beginning Composting for the first time

My husband and I are working on getting closer and closer to self-sufficiency! One key component is COMPOSTING!! Let me just start off by saying, OVERWHELMING!!! Who knew something as simple as throwing a bunch of stuff in a pile could be so stressful!

Composting is so beneficial in a ton of different ways! One way that’s great for us, it helps minimize trash! The list of things that CAN go into the compost is crazy!! From food scraps, to the cardboard roll at the end of the toilet paper, to lint from the dryer! All of that is less “stuff” going into the trash, and more “fuel” for our compost!

When I first started googling about composting, and the benefits of it, I was flooded with all these scientific words and phrases. Ewww. My brain and science do not go hand in hand. Trying to decipher all these different articles, was like trying to decipher the Davinci code!

So I’m taking more of a “winging it” approach! After talking with farmer Erica with Hayfield Farm, she showed me an awesome way to make composting a little easier (and definitely visually appealing). On her counter top she keeps two different containers. A mason jar for things her chickens cannot eat (lint, coffee grinds, tea from tea bags), and a beautiful bucket for things the chickens can eat (fruit/veggie peels, left over dinner, dried up rice, stale bread). The great thing about owning chickens is you can feed them all your scraps, then they poop it all out and BAM, into the compost it goes!! Eventually, your compost will become beautiful rich soil that you can use in your garden!! Its a beautiful cycle.

Tip: Thank you Erica for letting me know chicken shavings (coop bedding), are compostable #winning

You Don’t Have A Garden

So maybe you’re reading this, and thinking to yourself, “but I don’t have any chickens” or “I don’t garden”. That’s okay!! You can still compost! You’ll cut back on waste, and I guarantee you have neighbors who would LOVEEEEEEE some free compost soil! Or you can post online that you’ve got free compost soil and you’ll probably have someone come that day!

If you don’t have chickens to feed, that’s okay, throw all that stuff in the compost! It’ll all break down!

You’re still a little skeptical about a big pile of “trash” in your yard? That’s okay! They make really pretty, and convenient, composting tumbling bins! You can easily find one online (Amazon prime for the win), and start composting within the next 2 days!!

I’m not kidding when I say I literally just started throwing stuff into a pile. I had to clean out my chicken brooder for the first time, and I knew I could compost the bedding. I went to the backyard, just picked a spot, and dumped the bedding into a pile. I had this idea that I wanted to use 4 pallets to create a box, so our dogs wouldn’t go digging around for a snack.

We found a couple of places nearby that have free pallets! Just make sure you check with the facility first! You wouldn’t want to get a theft charge over a couple of pallets. Near us is a pest control company, and behind their building was a mountain high stack of pallets! I went in to ask about them, and apparently, they get their chemicals delivered on pallets and have no use for them after that! They’re also in EXCELLENT condition. Additionally, you can reach out to your local hardware store, and see if they have any for free.

TIP: Keep in mind pallets come in different sizes!

We took a stack of pallets home, and together we started attaching them. We (let’s be honest- my husband) did 90% of the work inside the garage, then we finished screwing them together in the compost location.

I used a rake, to make sure all my used chicken bedding and leaves/dirt were in a good pile. I found some old bags of soil laying around the garage and I threw that in there too.

Looking forward to seeing how this comes along! Make sure to check back regularly for updates!

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