Lately, people have shown an interest in composting. So thought I’d share my experience with this. We have been composting for 6 years (and I was doing it long before that as well).

Composting is a fantastic way to keep our waste out of landfills. And you can turn that waste into something good. Black gold is the goal! Compost is wonderful for your garden and lawn…there’s simply no better fertilizer.

You can get started today. If you have zero money to spend and want to start today, get a shovel and go out to your yard. Dig a hole (about a foot deep) in a sunny location and start tossing in your left overs (NO ANIMAL products!). Cover the hole with a trash can lid. It will take a while for this compost to develop because the earth will actually keep the contents fairly cool. But, over time, you’ll develop a nice compost heap! (This is what I did when I lived in the little cabin by Pine Lake).

For about $5-$10 you can make your own compost bin. Get yourself a big black plastic trash bin with a lid that fits tightly. Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart, Big Lots, all sell them. Try to find one without handles that stick out. Drill holes in the bin (along the sides and in the bottom). The holes could be about the size of a dime. Throw some dirt in the bottom (an old, dead houseplant is perfect for starting your compost bin). But you don’t even need to do that. Just start tossing in your kitchen waste…again, though, leave out any animal products (no meat, cheese, dairy)…just veggies/fruits, paper towels, used tea bags and coffee grounds…you can also put in yard waste, like grass clippings, fallen leaves…and you can recycle old mail (just shred it first!) and newspaper. You want to have a nice mix of browns and greens. Keep the compost moist (but not soaking wet!) and turn it often. Just put the lid on tight, tip the bin over and roll it around a few times…

Keep it fairly close to the house so you won’t have an excuse not to use it. If you keep out the animal products, you won’t have any problem with smell. Also, keep it in a sunny location because the heat will help everything decompose faster.

Keep a tiny compost bin in the kitchen to collect your scraps. Just get a small pail with a lid and keep it under the sink. You fill it up and empty it every other day or so.

Pretty soon you’ll have a nice stash of black gold for your garden!