David Kirkpatrick

December 2, 2009

Composting for fun and profit

Filed under: et.al. — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 6:12 pm

Okay, that title is a total lie. Composting isn’t all that fun unless you consider saving food scraps and collecting leaves entertaining pastimes, and really you’d have to compost on a massive scale to make any profit selling the results. But if you do any gardening or other personal agriculture, a garden composter is a great way to create your own fertilizer and enriched soil, and it does provide a nice way to dispose of organic material that still has a lot to give. A much better alternative to sending all that material either down the disposal or to the landfill.

Garden composters come in many sizes, shapes and formats, and can even be built from scrap material around the workshop. If you are looking to build your own composter, do a quick internet search for plans that best fit your space. I created a very simple composter using two-by-fours for corner posts and old fencing slats as side walls with a little breathing space between slat. It doesn’t look great, but it does get the job done.

If you’d prefer something a little more organized, and certainly better looking than my homemade composter, hit any link in this post for a wide variety of composters and composter accessories from Outdora. You can find units that stay in the kitchen or on the counter top for ease of adding leftover food material, and larger outdoor units that’ll handle anything you want to throw at them.

If you’re new to the composting game keep in mind you want to add what is considered “green” and “brown” organic material. Green material is kitchen scraps including fruit and vegetable waste, egg shells, coffee grounds and tea leaves and the like. Avoid meat products because they tend to attract vermin, and don’t add citrus waste such as orange peels. The acids will kill beneficial organisms in your compost. Brown material includes fallen leaves, chipped tree wood and straw-like material. Lawn trimming fall under both categories depending on whether they are freshly cut and still green, or dried out and brittle brown.