Thursday, October 6, 2016

Compost Prep

This is a small side-note in terms of all the things that need to be done around our house, but it's been bugging me for months, so suffice it to say that I feel relieved that I finally dealt with it. What else is new in my life? We compost our food stuff and I have to say that I think it should be mandatory everywhere. It's just a great way to reduce the stuff that goes into landfills and a great way to put food waste to good use. Even if you don't actually use the end product, it's still better than putting it into the trash.

Anyway, we compost our food and our compost bin really fills up over the course of winter. Normally this wouldn't be a problem except that we have critters that come and eat the scraps. This, too, wouldn't be a problem if those critters didn't include bears, and not just one. Two springs ago we had regular visits by bears who ate our compost and garbage and made a complete mess of the situation. We now keep our garbage in the barn and I built shelters for the compost, which I was told was useless since a bear can rip it to pieces since their so strong. Even still, I figured why make it easy on them?

The shelters seemed to have accomplished said goal, though they make access a bit of a chore, which in turn makes me reluctant to empty the bins. As you can imagine, they get pretty full. This is normally not a problem during the warmer months because the food breaks down to a fraction of it's bulk, but during winter it freezes into a solid block. By spring of last year the thing was a solid block of food scrap ice, and I had to start using an unprotected compost bin, which in turn meant inviting bears to come feast on it.

Fortunately, with the cold weather and bit critters (i.e., bears) hibernating, I was able to transfer the waste once it thawed and there were no problems. It did, however, highlight the fact that it is important to empty the bins and start the winter with a clean slate, so to speak. As you can imagine, it's not something I'm jumping for joy to do, so I tend to put it off and let it nag at me for months. Then again, what else is new? Well, I finally dealt with one of the full bins and took the compost out, which was basically just soil. It's amazing what food waste turns into.

We usually put the stuff in the garden but we're not doing a garden this year, so I just dumped it into the woods. I could have fertilized some trees of even the lawn, but I think they are growing fine at this time, and given that I'm happy to have simply addressed the immediate situation, I'll leave it at that. Next year with better planning I'll find a good use for the stuff.

For now we're looking pretty decent for winter. Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks to Larry for the pic.

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