I never really thought about composting until I moved into a house. Perhaps I just didn’t need to think about it, or I just didn’t know too much about it. Once I no longer could use garage disposal it was pretty clear something needed to change. I was filling up trash a lot more. It took a few years before I made the connection.

It all started with a container on the counter. We would start throwing eggshells in along with vegetable peelings. Eventually, we cut the bottom off an old trash can that had holes in it and put it in the back yard. What is in your compost should have access to the soil underneath? We would dump our bucket there. When I pulled weeds, they would get put in the old trash can along with the shreddings from the paper shredder. This can really start to fill up. We noticed the worms, the bugs, and the smell when standing next to it. Something was happening in there. After some research, turning the pile as needed. From then on, we had a nice rich soil for our garden.

Here are some simple things you can do to get started:

• Save your vegetable peelings and rotten fruit, along with eggshells in a bucket in your kitchen. There are some nice compost bins out there in different sizes. Find one that works for you.
• Get a composting bin (or use an old trash can with the bottom open).
• Add your peelings, eggshells, rotten fruits, and wilted lettuce in the compost. You can also throw in shredded paper, and leaves. Avoid anything with meat or bodily waste from animals,
• You can put a lid on it – especially in the summer. The heat and steam will get the bacteria going a little faster. Turn it with a shovel or fork at least every couple of weeks.

It is that simple! What happens with the turning is it allows what has broken down to mix with the new. At some point when it looks rich you can start using it. You might even decide to have 2 bins in the yard – one for using and the other for your newer deposits.

I would like to mention coffee. Coffee can be added to the compost. You need to be careful though as it is very acidic and can be harmful to a garden. After we lost some tomato plants, I started putting the coffee grounds in their own bin. I use the coffee on my roses, hydrangeas, and my rhododendrons. They are THRIVING now. Last year I stopped using the one cup pod machine and went back to the coffee pot. Less waste of the pods and more grounds for my flowers and trees.