I Make Great Dirt, What's Your Superpower?

| 11/7/2012 10:52:45 AM

Tags: Composting, Dirt, Fishing, Homestead, Country, Heather Jackson,

Heather JacksonToday I have something kind of embarrassing to tell you.  I'm sort of obsessed with making dirt.  Now don't blame me, my grandaddy was at least as interested in dirt as I am, so I come by it honestly!  We do a lot of composting around here.  I thought I would give you a tour of my composting operation; I use several different types, so you just might find something here that will work for you!

Molly and Daisy
Two goats (Molly and Daisy) hanging out near my garden.  

My first form of composting is kind of like cheating.  All the choice veggie trimmings, as well as things that need to be thrown out of the garden, like tomatoes with splits or holes, and plants that are past their prime, simply get chucked over the fence and into the pasture where they are eagerly snapped up by the goats or the chickens.  (Did you know that goats LOVE banana peels?  We call them "goat candy!")  They "compost" the food in the form of droppings that will either directly fertilize the pasture, or they leave them in the barn, which eventually gets cleaned out and dumped into a compost bin.  But I'm getting ahead of myself. 

Compost Tumblers
My compost tumblers sit right on the back deck! 

My next form of composting is the compost tumbler.  I love mine!  The sorts of things that usually find their way into my tumbler are coffee grounds, tea bags, bits of onion, garlic, and citrus (the animals don't care for these) shredded junk mail, veggies that are too rotten to feed to the animals, dead flowers, sawdust and tons of egg shells!  (I even throw in hair from my hairbrush and sometimes the dust from the vacuum if it doesn't have too many Legos in it, but don't tell anyone.  They think I'm weird enough as it is!)

Tumbler in Garden
The missing green tumbler is currently sitting in my garden where I was adding compost before the fall plantings. 

heather jackson
11/15/2012 3:40:04 PM

I love that idea!!

mary carton
11/14/2012 5:10:20 AM

I keep a pitchfork in the back of my truck. Never know when you'll see a nice leaf pile to carry home.

heather jackson
11/13/2012 4:38:47 PM

Thanks for the warm welcome! I'm totally going to wear a cape next time I go out to turn my piles! I just love that the only wrong way to compost is NOT TO! :-) Bagged leaves heading to the dump has always been a huge pet peeve of mine!

heather jackson
11/13/2012 3:55:44 PM

I would burn my pile too if it were full of yellow jackets! Yikes! Hooray for compost!

mary carton
11/11/2012 4:38:35 AM

Heather welcome to the GRIT bloggers. I blog as Rosedale Garden. I have 4 compost piles. One I'm about to loose when I burn a swarm of yellow jackets that attacked me when I turned it with my loader. The power company brings wood chips when in the area, so I have a huge pile of that, plus I've bought some sawdust from a lumber company, so I'll have a lot of compost next spring.

nebraska dave
11/11/2012 2:28:05 AM

Heather, welcome to the GRIT blogging community. Don't forget to frequent http://www.facebook.com/GritMagazine . It's a great place to hang out. Superpower, huh. This fall I donned my cape and stealthed into the dark of the night foraging all through the neighborhood for grass/leaf mixture in yard waste bags by the curb. I have a sizable garden so at last count for the collection it was well over 600 bags. The garden (140 feet by 30 feet) has about eight to twelve inches of mulch covering the ground. This would be my sheet method of composting. I have a different method of composting which are nothing more than total of three piles. Each year I start a new pile in the spring. Any kind of yard or garden waste goes into the pile. The third year pile has the top layer skimmed off and the bottom layers of compost is shoveled into the 100 gallon composter to moisten and fluff it up a bit. It's not in the composter more than a week with some moisture and daily turning. Then the top layer that's been skimmed off goes back to be the bottom layer and it becomes the current year's pile. I don't turn or disturb the pile at all untill the layer is skimmed off the top. I lazy as you can see. I model these methods after my heroine "Ruth Stout". Have a great composting day.

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