Grow, Eat, Compost, Repeat! A Beginner's Guide to Composting

October 10, 2013 Update 

Visit Part 2 - The Compost Pail, Bins, Tumblers, and Tea Makers!

Original Post

The dreaded compost pile, composting bins, expensive tumblers, DIY backyard compost designs, worms, compost tea… Where to start? Well, whether it is a simple bucket out in the garden or an elaborate, state of the art Compost Tumblerthe most important part is to just start composting! 

After writing last month’s post 1 Part Compost + 1 Part Top Soil = 2 Happy Raised Vegetable Garden Beds & Some Massive Zucchinis! and watching the continued success of my mother’s garden throughout the summer, I have decided that a compost bin in the backyard is a must. Thinking about it has gone on long enough!

I was surprised when I moved into my new home that there was not an existing compost bin or pile somewhere in the yard, considering the well-kept yard and garden that the previous owner’s kept. Being accustomed to having some sort of compost area in the yard (or chickens), I quickly noticed how much household waste and recycling is eliminated by a simple compost bin. I will be the first to admit, I have taken composting for granted!

The 1:1 ratio of compost to top soil was perfect for her raised beds. The vegetable garden has produced an endless supply of gigantic zucchinis and beautiful tomatoes, with bowls full of peppers soon to come. If it were not for this rich compost mix I wonder if there would be the same results…

I have been trying to decide the best way to go about this new composting area for the yard. The typical plastic Compost Bin is great for a season or two, but they always seem to loose shape in sun and weather after a while. I wanted to find a more creative, attractive and unnoticeable way of composting, without spending a fortune on a store bought composting bin, or tumbler. The best, creative composting ideas I found have been pinned to the Creative Composting Ideas Pinterest Board for your viewing. I never considered “hiding” your compost bin, I will be taking advantage of that idea. I know the perfect place. I love the Composting for Kids Pin, what a smart idea!

I have included the following links to informative sites and pages discussing how and what to compost, homemade compost bins, Do It Yourself composting tumblers, worm composting, as well as, a great guide to concocting your own nutrient rich compost tea.

How to compost     How To

What to compost     Organic Composting ingredients.
Composting Bins     Sunset.comBuild The Perfect Compost Bin
                     ~ Tumbleweed Compost Bin, 58-Gallon

The Greater Vancouver Regional District provides extremely detailed plans for a helpful Rodent Resistant Three Bin Compost System. Although, it would be lovely to have this elaborate compost system for the backyard it might be slightly overkill for what I have in mind right.  

Is it worth it to buy a Compost Tumbler though?  
Check out the discussion at

Worm Composting information and supplies

Making Compost Tea
Making a good compost tea is definitely a form of fine art. As I searched around online, it was quickly evident that there are many different ways to brew up a batch of rich, organic compost tea; some simple and some quite complex.

Interested in learning more about making compost tea? Watch this YouTube video, E-Z Compost Tea (Simplest Method on Earth). Please watch this before purchasing a brand new $650 Compost Tea Maker!

We all should be composting. There are so many different options for composting at home, many urban centers now have large scale composting programs in place, there is no excuse! As the 'old recycling motto' goes, “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”.
Happy Composting!


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