Continuing on the inadvertent vein of multi tasking workouts: I’ve been on a bit of an eco bender recently, particularly disturbed by how much biodegradable waste ends up in our trash. A while back we looked into urban composting but were overwhelmed by the contraptions and logistics; so we were thrilled when our neighbors invited us to join in their “slow & lazy” composting. Yesterday I tidied and turned the compost, which ended up being a great whole body workout (read: I hurt all over today). I was so inspired by the simplicity of their method that I asked our neighbors to write up their how to:
“1. Choose an area for your compost pile, preferably out-of-sight and not too close to walkways (it can get odiferous on hot days). You can make a simple heap or pile, but some kind of fence or edging will keep it more contained.
2. Simply toss on fallen leaves, fruit and produce scraps from your kitchen; especially rich in nutrients are green veggies and fruits, coffee grounds with filter, tea bags, and eggshells for minerals. It is handy to have a container by your kitchen sink, and perhaps a second one to use until you empty the first one when it gets full.
Avoid protein plants such as beans, tofu, and grains/rice/bread because these attract animals. Grass cuttings are great if you collect them, but not if you use non-organic weed killers. Better yet, let the cuttings fall as you cut the grass so they add natural compost without any effort.
3. Every spring, rake or shovel the new, un-decomposed compost on top of the pile to one side, and dig out the rich, dark compost underneath. Use this "black gold" for new plantings or to spread a thin, nutritious layer over your grass or flower beds.
4. If you want to speed the process along, add a layer of manure, water the pile in hot, dry weather, and turn it twice a year.”
For more information, check out the EPA’s guide to composting.