Sunday, July 31, 2005

Dirty Pictures

Although you might not know it from my admission of using deadly chemicals to deal with pests and pesky plants on Saturday... I am mostly a careful gardener. I fertilize only using fish emulsion, and rarely put any bad on my property (and never near the edibles). And I am the Queen of Dirt.

Sunday was a day for switching out the compost bins. Since you all like pictures... and dirty pictures are so irresistible... I thought I'd share.

The process begins here.

Kitchen scraps, chopped up leaves and grass clippings and the stuff from my paper shredder goes in here. Once about every 2 months this gets emptied. Into here:

This is a compost tumbler. You are not supposed to keep adding stuff to this; just batch process and go. So the "lightly aged" compost is loaded in. Turn this sideways, and you can roll it around the yard. A roll every day for 1-1.2-2 months gives you:

Mostly decomposed compost. But this lot has lots of twigs, sticks and large pits in it which need to get sifted out. The tools of the day:

A wheelbarrow and a hand-made sifter. It's about 18" square (as large as I can deal with) with a base of hardware cloth to sift through. I sift into the wheelbarrow. And each load from the tumbler gives me 2 or 3 loads of this:

Fine, finished compost filled with earthworms. There isn't a plant anywhere that wouldn't want some of this.

And these "dregs" got dragged behind the fence to sit out in the open and slowly decompose on their own.

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