Author Topic: What did you feed your compost today?  (Read 2672 times)

jengod

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1047
  • Location: Near LAX
What did you feed your compost today?
« on: April 15, 2018, 11:20:57 PM »
What did you feed your compost today?

Stealing my favorite thread topic from the GardenWeb forums Compost groups and porting it over here to weirdos such as yourselves.
https://www.houzz.com/discussions/soil-compost-and-mulch

* Eggshells
* Banana peels
* Burned waffles
* A dead African blue basil shrub
* Comfrey

ABK

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 41
Re: What did you feed your compost today?
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2018, 01:33:21 AM »
I'll play. We have a worm compost bin. Today they got parsley stalks, kale stalks and jicama peels.

Linda_Norway

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3680
Re: What did you feed your compost today?
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2018, 02:04:13 AM »
We throw the kitchen greens in a bucket and empty it every few days in a large composting bin outside.

During the winter the bin wasn't composting, because it was too cold. We just added to the pile. But since we have temperatures above 0C, the bin is damping warm every time I open it. I have been stirring it a lot.

I have learned not to put shrimp shells in a composting bin. They will keep smelling intensely for a month or so.

I have fished out many of the biodegradable plastic bags I had thrown in (from the kitchen bin). They don't degrade fast enough, or maybe not at all. DH and I agreed on not throwing them in the bin in the future.

DH has already taken out this year's first portions of earth, produced from our kitchen scraps and some garden garbage. He is using it for his grapes.

MasterStache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1775
Re: What did you feed your compost today?
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2018, 04:53:52 AM »
Throw veggie scraps in there every week. My wife likes to make juices and those tiny bits of veggie scraps are slung into the yard every day. Don't forget your yard and landscape love veggie scraps too. Great way to add organic content to the soil.

Basenji

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 987
  • Location: D.C.-ish
Re: What did you feed your compost today?
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2018, 06:16:48 AM »
Well hello!

Eggshells (the only animal product we put in the compost)
coffee grounds and paper filter
peels from onions and ginger
a rotten pear
banana peel
lemon peels
carrot peels

Peels, it seems.

We keep a big bag of straw in the shed and sometimes layer a bit with the wet household stuff. Helps everything cook up better.

TheWifeHalf

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 499
Re: What did you feed your compost today?
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2018, 09:18:41 AM »
Today?
Coffee and grounds
Banana peel

Last year a tomato plant was growing on the compost. It gave us tomatoes until Sept. It must have come from from tomato and seeds that were prime for sprouting. This year? I'm planting tomato seeds there!

Rhinodad

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 13
Re: What did you feed your compost today?
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2018, 10:38:05 AM »
Banana peels, orange peels, onion peels, egg shells w/crate, avocado peels (raccoons love these...the only time they bother our compost pile is when we have avocado peels), pineapple rind, broccoli stems, asparagus ends, coffee grounds.

nouveauRiche

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 342
  • Location: HCOL - USA
Re: What did you feed your compost today?
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2018, 12:15:01 PM »
So far:

Banana peels
Mango seed & peel
Egg shells
Cantaloupe rind & seeds
Strawberry tops

jengod

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1047
  • Location: Near LAX
Re: What did you feed your compost today?
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2018, 10:40:00 PM »
* Stomach contents of robot vacuum
* Loose-leaf tea leaves
* Contents of sink strainers (we have a low-key greywater system so try to keep food particles out of the sink drain)

Tom Bri

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 618
  • Location: Small Town, Flyover Country
  • More just cheap, than Mustachian
Re: What did you feed your compost today?
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2018, 12:32:34 AM »
Tea and coffee grounds, shredded paper, fireplace ash, eggshells and who knows what else.

furrychickens

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7545
  • Age: 34
  • Location: SE WI
  • Numerophobic Mustachian
Re: What did you feed your compost today?
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2018, 06:17:14 AM »
Coffee is one of the only things here that goes straight into the compost. Otherwise everything’s put through the chickens first. When winter decides it’s finally done, I’ve got many cubic yards worth of chicken and rabbit manure to put in the compost, will have to build some more bins likely.

By next year I may need to start selling it or donating to some of the local community gardens and other nonprofit farms.

Linda_Norway

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3680
Re: What did you feed your compost today?
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2018, 07:16:29 AM »
* Stomach contents of robot vacuum

I never considered doing this. I put it in the bin where I put the leftovers after sorting paper, glass, plastic, metal and green stuff separately. The contents of a vacuum are mostly hair and dust, not green stuff. But I guess it can be used as compost.

jengod

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1047
  • Location: Near LAX
Re: What did you feed your compost today?
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2018, 12:28:35 PM »
* Stomach contents of robot vacuum

I never considered doing this. I put it in the bin where I put the leftovers after sorting paper, glass, plastic, metal and green stuff separately. The contents of a vacuum are mostly hair and dust, not green stuff. But I guess it can be used as compost.

"If it bleeds, we can kill it." --Arnold Schwarzenegger in Predator (I think)

"If it lived, you can compost it." --me

(I do get bits of styrofoam and occasional non-biodegradable bits in the vacuum but I just sift those out on the tail end if they don't decompose.)

ABK

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 41
Re: What did you feed your compost today?
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2018, 09:49:06 PM »
Today worms are getting banana peels and brussels sprouts trimmings.

TartanTallulah

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 521
  • Location: The Middle of Scenic Nowhere
Re: What did you feed your compost today?
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2018, 12:03:47 AM »
Our compost has done nothing over the winter. Too cold. But I've kept putting in compostable kitchen scraps and torn cardboard and given it one dig over. Now it's starting to show signs of worm and other insect activity.

I hope next year I'll be able to extract some useful material from it.

SweetTPie

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 115
  • Age: 34
  • Location: The South, USA
Re: What did you feed your compost today?
« Reply #15 on: April 19, 2018, 03:05:36 PM »
Several days worth of material were added:  Fruit & veggie scraps/trimmings (lettuce, broccoli, squash, onion, mushroom, bell pepper, apple cores, cantaloupe rinds*), eggshells, tea, coffee grounds & filters*, & some straw**

* I don't actually drink coffee, but I 'steal' the used grounds from the office.  My office mates accept my weirdness and also offer me other compostables they have left over from lunch (this time, the cantaloupe rinds)

**The straw is from a bale that one of my neighbors was throwing out- it was a beast to move b/c being waterlogged, but I am stoked.

Last year I did a terrible job of composting, and ended up with BSFL in my bin.  I didn't really much care, and don't really much care if they come back this year too.  I found them fascinating, and they worked really well for fishing.  (Free bait!)  The only issue is that they keep the pile from heating up, and so now I have tons of volunteer plants in my garden.  I think most of them are either squash or cantaloupe.

Leisured

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 490
  • Age: 73
  • Location: South east Australia, in country
  • Retired, and loving it.
Re: What did you feed your compost today?
« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2018, 12:19:43 AM »
Coffee is one of the only things here that goes straight into the compost. Otherwise everything’s put through the chickens first. When winter decides it’s finally done, I’ve got many cubic yards worth of chicken and rabbit manure to put in the compost, will have to build some more bins likely.

Nice idea, furry. An alternative idea is to have two chicken coops, and alternate each year. The coop not hosting chickens is planted to vegetables, to benefit from the previous year's manure.

Not happy about the idea of putting vacuum cleaner waste into compost. If the carpet is synthetic you will get tiny fragments of abraded carpet material.

I have been taught that waste food goes into compost except meat scraps, onion, garlic and citrus peel.

I have recently heard the idea of a small, separate compost bin which is fed with meat scraps to encourage maggots, which are then fed to chickens.

furrychickens

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7545
  • Age: 34
  • Location: SE WI
  • Numerophobic Mustachian
Re: What did you feed your compost today?
« Reply #17 on: April 20, 2018, 04:44:37 AM »
Coffee is one of the only things here that goes straight into the compost. Otherwise everything’s put through the chickens first. When winter decides it’s finally done, I’ve got many cubic yards worth of chicken and rabbit manure to put in the compost, will have to build some more bins likely.

Nice idea, furry. An alternative idea is to have two chicken coops, and alternate each year. The coop not hosting chickens is planted to vegetables, to benefit from the previous year's manure.

Not happy about the idea of putting vacuum cleaner waste into compost. If the carpet is synthetic you will get tiny fragments of abraded carpet material.

I have been taught that waste food goes into compost except meat scraps, onion, garlic and citrus peel.

I have recently heard the idea of a small, separate compost bin which is fed with meat scraps to encourage maggots, which are then fed to chickens.

Yeah, there are lots of neat ideas for how to integrate chickens and compost and gardens together. The Harvey Ussery poultry book has got some of the best. I’m limited by the rules in my urban location and how much I can bend break them before the inspector is on my doorstep again. (Hi Ken, what now?) <—yes I’m on a first name basis, sigh....

Chickens love meat scraps! I love at store labels that mention “vegetarian fed hens” because chickens are highly omnivorous, they want at least 1/3 of their diet from animal protein. Mine won’t touch raw offal (many chickens will) but anything cooked is their favorite, including chicken. 

Generally it’s safe to give them everything compostable, they won’t eat what’s bad for them, and their scratching behavior mixes it all together. If I have a large bin (like from peeling a bunch of potatoes) that’s all non-chicken stuff, though, I’ll toss it right into the compost.

TartanTallulah

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 521
  • Location: The Middle of Scenic Nowhere
Re: What did you feed your compost today?
« Reply #18 on: April 28, 2018, 07:46:52 PM »
DH and I stopped for coffee yesterday in a café that leaves out paper bags of old coffee grounds with an invitation to customers to take them away for their gardens and reduce the café's waste disposal expenses by doing so. We were happy to help, for the lawns have had their first cutting of the year and the heap now needs more brown material for balance.

furrychickens

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7545
  • Age: 34
  • Location: SE WI
  • Numerophobic Mustachian
Re: What did you feed your compost today?
« Reply #19 on: April 29, 2018, 06:10:38 AM »
I normally prefer cold compost even though it doesn’t kill weed seeds because it emits less CO2 and preserves more nutrients and organic matter but there was so much ammonia buildup in the anaerobic winter bedding pack that the compost pile I’ve been building as I muck out the “barn” yard is steaming quite vigorously.

For more on the joys of cold composting, I highly recommend Gene Logsdon’s excellent little book “Holy Shit”.

ABK

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 41
Re: What did you feed your compost today?
« Reply #20 on: May 01, 2018, 02:18:08 AM »
Today the worms got carrot peels, jicama peels, and a banana peel. Guess it was peel day in the bin.

They go bonkers for the banana peels. There's always a swarm of worms curled up inside the peels the day after I put them in.

slackmax

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 162
Re: What did you feed your compost today?
« Reply #21 on: May 01, 2018, 08:01:17 AM »
I don't compost, but I do save up coffee grounds, egg shells, and cantaloupe rinds, for dumping onto the garden every so often. I just dig it all into a shallow pit that I recover with a thin layer of soil.   

Tris Prior

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2232
Re: What did you feed your compost today?
« Reply #22 on: May 02, 2018, 12:08:56 PM »
Our landlord just gave us a compost bin that someone had discarded in his alley. It's in good shape and retails for around $90. I'm brand new at this - so far I've put in veggie scraps and some egg shells.

Didn't think about putting in the used coffee grounds. Do you all do that filter and all?

SweetTPie

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 115
  • Age: 34
  • Location: The South, USA
Re: What did you feed your compost today?
« Reply #23 on: May 02, 2018, 12:11:56 PM »
DH and I stopped for coffee yesterday in a café that leaves out paper bags of old coffee grounds with an invitation to customers to take them away for their gardens and reduce the café's waste disposal expenses by doing so. We were happy to help, for the lawns have had their first cutting of the year and the heap now needs more brown material for balance.
I was under the impression that, despite their color, coffee grounds are high in nitrogen and are thus 'green' material, green=nitrogen & brown=carbon.  This is what the interwebs told me, but I am a casual composter with little (no) experience (except in composting failure).

furrychickens

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7545
  • Age: 34
  • Location: SE WI
  • Numerophobic Mustachian
Re: What did you feed your compost today?
« Reply #24 on: May 02, 2018, 06:59:22 PM »
Our landlord just gave us a compost bin that someone had discarded in his alley. It's in good shape and retails for around $90. I'm brand new at this - so far I've put in veggie scraps and some egg shells.

Didn't think about putting in the used coffee grounds. Do you all do that filter and all?

Yes, though the filter takes a longish time to break down.

DH and I stopped for coffee yesterday in a café that leaves out paper bags of old coffee grounds with an invitation to customers to take them away for their gardens and reduce the café's waste disposal expenses by doing so. We were happy to help, for the lawns have had their first cutting of the year and the heap now needs more brown material for balance.
I was under the impression that, despite their color, coffee grounds are high in nitrogen and are thus 'green' material, green=nitrogen & brown=carbon.  This is what the interwebs told me, but I am a casual composter with little (no) experience (except in composting failure).

Coffee grounds kinda straddle the “green”/“brown” divide in my experience.

TartanTallulah

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 521
  • Location: The Middle of Scenic Nowhere
Re: What did you feed your compost today?
« Reply #25 on: May 02, 2018, 07:09:22 PM »
DH and I stopped for coffee yesterday in a café that leaves out paper bags of old coffee grounds with an invitation to customers to take them away for their gardens and reduce the café's waste disposal expenses by doing so. We were happy to help, for the lawns have had their first cutting of the year and the heap now needs more brown material for balance.
I was under the impression that, despite their color, coffee grounds are high in nitrogen and are thus 'green' material, green=nitrogen & brown=carbon.  This is what the interwebs told me, but I am a casual composter with little (no) experience (except in composting failure).

I'm a simple creature and just assumed "looks brown, therefore it's brown" ;-)

Back to ripping up cardboard for me, then. I'm not generating many woody prunings at the moment.

jeninco

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 763
  • Location: .... duh?
Re: What did you feed your compost today?
« Reply #26 on: May 04, 2018, 09:53:33 PM »
Our compost pile is mostly all kitchen waste (so, "greens") and every now and then I notice it looks wrong and add a bunch of shredded paper. Go ahead, identify thieves, try to make something out of the shredded personal documents that have been mixed in and composted for a few weeks!

Alas, the rats (we're pretty sure they're rats...) living under our back deck have found the compost pile. So now we refer to taking out the compost (most recently coffee grounds, pineapple top and bottom, apple cores, orange peels, and un-appetizing-looking cauliflower outside and core) as "feeding Templeton."  At last the grey furry things are cute, boing-ing though the grass. (We'll probably wind up with another big black snake -- that's what happened when we had mice under the deck...Circle of life, and all that.)

jengod

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1047
  • Location: Near LAX
Re: What did you feed your compost today?
« Reply #27 on: May 08, 2018, 05:17:16 PM »
* Contents of sink strainers and "tub mushroom"

* Food waste including sweet potato peels and citrus peels

* Some paper waste to balance the greens

furrychickens

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7545
  • Age: 34
  • Location: SE WI
  • Numerophobic Mustachian
Re: What did you feed your compost today?
« Reply #28 on: May 08, 2018, 06:35:52 PM »
Winter bedding clean out is finished finally. Not much in comparison to larger farms or homesteads but 5 cu yards. Good workout :)

jengod

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1047
  • Location: Near LAX
Re: What did you feed your compost today?
« Reply #29 on: May 08, 2018, 09:39:20 PM »
Winter bedding clean out is finished finally. Not much in comparison to larger farms or homesteads but 5 cu yards. Good workout :)

We used to do deep litter chicken bedding. IT WAS THE BEST.

I gotta get back into the chicken business.

furrychickens

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7545
  • Age: 34
  • Location: SE WI
  • Numerophobic Mustachian
Re: What did you feed your compost today?
« Reply #30 on: May 09, 2018, 04:41:56 AM »
Winter bedding clean out is finished finally. Not much in comparison to larger farms or homesteads but 5 cu yards. Good workout :)

We used to do deep litter chicken bedding. IT WAS THE BEST.

I gotta get back into the chicken business.

Rabbit manure is even better, but I’m still learning how much carbon is needed to compensate for their urine, spilled feed, water bowls, etc. My bedding pack was quite the stinky mess once I started disturbing it with the pitchfork, needs much more carbon next year, or more carbon mixed in as I build the piles, or both.

Chickens are much drier, so there’s a big advantage there. 

TartanTallulah

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 521
  • Location: The Middle of Scenic Nowhere
Re: What did you feed your compost today?
« Reply #31 on: May 19, 2018, 03:22:14 PM »
A huge heap of grass clippings. Back to ripping cardboard. The heap looks full, but the clippings compact down very quickly.

A field near my workplace had ewes and lambs in it for a few weeks, but they've just been moved out and it's empty. I'm tempted to go along with a big bag and collect the droppings for my compost heap but I daren't imagine what my customers would think if they saw me - and someone would, it's that sort of place.

MrsDinero

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 926
Re: What did you feed your compost today?
« Reply #32 on: May 19, 2018, 05:59:10 PM »
Yay!  Compost!  I built a new large bin today out of scrap wood and finally cleaned out the chicken coop!

FYI:  Have you seen what the sanitation dept of NY is working on?  Eliminating  food waste in landfills and turning it into compost:  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/02/nyregion/compost-organic-recycling-new-york-city.html

Gone Fishing

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2722
  • So Close went fishing on April 1, 2016
    • Journal
Re: What did you feed your compost today?
« Reply #33 on: May 19, 2018, 06:19:02 PM »
Our chickens get most of the scraps (including meat), as well.  They are in a portable coop on pasture.  Anything they don't eat (eg. orange peels) composts in place. We throw a few coffee grounds in the trash (gasp!) because I don't want filters in my pasture, and not sure what they would do to a chicken, but I'd consider them a green based on how fast they mold if you forget to empty the coffee maker. The "clean" organs (pancreas, lungs, sometimes liver) from butchering (goats, sheep, deer, hogs) get ground or diced and fed to the chickens.  The hide, head, lower legs, and digestive tract from butchered animals get covered with woodchips and cold composted in 55 gallon plastic drums. Bones get burned in the woodstove then spread along with the ashes. 

FireEngineer

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 23
Re: What did you feed your compost today?
« Reply #34 on: May 19, 2018, 06:24:51 PM »
Anyone have a creative solution for fats/oils/greases left from cooking?

Linda_Norway

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3680
Re: What did you feed your compost today?
« Reply #35 on: June 04, 2018, 06:09:45 AM »
Anyone have a creative solution for fats/oils/greases left from cooking?

This is how we do it:
Very little: wipe with cloth and throw in waste bin.
Medium amount: pour into the garden.
A lot (like contents from a deep-frying pan): pour into the original jar and put that in the waste bin.

Creative solution: if the fat is solid at room temperatures, you can make bird feeding balls. Just mix the fat with lots of seeds.

Tris Prior

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2232
Re: What did you feed your compost today?
« Reply #36 on: June 04, 2018, 07:40:21 AM »
What do you all do with harder and more solid things? Corn cobs, avocado pits? Are those ever going to break down? Should I just toss them?

furrychickens

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7545
  • Age: 34
  • Location: SE WI
  • Numerophobic Mustachian
Re: What did you feed your compost today?
« Reply #37 on: June 04, 2018, 10:17:46 AM »
What do you all do with harder and more solid things? Corn cobs, avocado pits? Are those ever going to break down? Should I just toss them?

They will break down. Anything organic rots, just some things take longer than others.

jengod

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1047
  • Location: Near LAX
Re: What did you feed your compost today?
« Reply #38 on: June 04, 2018, 09:34:25 PM »
What do you all do with harder and more solid things? Corn cobs, avocado pits? Are those ever going to break down? Should I just toss them?

They will break down. Anything organic rots, just some things take longer than others.

FWIW I have a 12-foot avocado tree that was a compost sprout. :D

Corn cobs dry out and can be crumbled into smaller bits eventually. In the meantime, like wood, it will absorb and hold a tremendous amount of water (like a sponge).

Compost today:
* Baby poop (don't @ me unless you've read the Humanure Handbook)
* Robot vacuum guts
* Regular vacuum guts
* Under-sink food scraps bin

Started a new batch of seed using worm compost as the starting medium

Linda_Norway

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3680
Re: What did you feed your compost today?
« Reply #39 on: June 05, 2018, 04:53:06 AM »
What do you all do with harder and more solid things? Corn cobs, avocado pits? Are those ever going to break down? Should I just toss them?

They will break down. Anything organic rots, just some things take longer than others.

FWIW I have a 12-foot avocado tree that was a compost sprout. :D

<...>

I also have an avocado plant which is growing fast inside my house.

I keep bones from meat out of the composting bin. They take a long time to decompose. I am also reluctant to throw shrimp shells in the bin, because that will smell from a long distance for 2 months or so. Same is for fish skin and bones, the smell is just not as strong as with shrimp.

Rosy

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1855
  • Location: Florida
Re: What did you feed your compost today?
« Reply #40 on: June 05, 2018, 06:46:02 AM »
At present, I'm settling for coffee grounds and teabags given directly to my roses-geraniums-fig tree...