Food Scraps- Are They Really That Gross?

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Today’s compost toter full of wasted food looks like a nice mix of noodles, tomatoes, chicken fingers and french fries.

Looking at photos like this (or inside compost toters in real life) normally elicits an “ewwwww” or similar.

Is it really, though?

If I put any of this on a plate in nice little portions, you’d probably eat it.

This leads to my main point: Where is the away place where stuff gets thrown?  What’s the difference between materials that are in your hand five seconds prior before they land in a plastic bag in a container labeled “trash” or otherwise?

I look at this and think, “I’m glad this is going to get turned back into fertile soil soon”.

Close the loop, and learn to embrace it.  It’s our only hope.

How To Make A Compost Tumbler (Fast, Cheap and Easy)

I’m glad it has holes drilled… that’s the downfall of most tumblers.

If you’re looking to do this with less labor, just take the barrel and sit it straight up- cover it with 3/16″ holes.  Forget the tumbling aspect, just start it with 12″ of shredded browns, then with each deposit of food scraps, add double the amount in brown materials.

By the time that fills, you’ll have compost on the bottom.

The easiest option is to have a second one to start filling while the first one finishes… doing this, you’ll have a great back-and-forth system to work with.

“Worms At Work” Play Pavilion

http://www.sacurrent.com/sanantonio/storybook-houses-brings-whimsical-favorites-to-the-san-antonio-botanical-garden/Content?oid=2514151

A few months ago, Lauran Drown got in touch and asked for some vermicomposting tips… and then she comes back with this:

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Worms At Work

Wow!  This is insane!  What an excellent way to show how worms work to naturally provide a necessary soil amendment.

These are the things that help inspire and create curiosity… if you’re in the San Antonio area, go check it out!

Learn more about what Lauran is up to at http://www.bucrane.com .

No Impact Man Vermicomposting

I just saw No Impact Man for the first time- can I get a late pass?

If you haven’t checked out this documentary it was actually pretty good.  Of course, I had serious doubts up front as I’ve gone through the peaks and troughs of studying environmental issues my whole life… but the family did a great job.

He called out recycling as not being a reliable solution, or where someone should think their responsibilities end.  All in all, he knew what he was talking about and he definitely put me in check, which felt great.

I was excited to see if he would implement a compost toilet system, or more predictably a worm bin since he lives in a NYC apartment.

He went with the latter, and it looks like it worked out for the most part.

In one scene later in the movie, he focuses on how there’s tons of bugs flying around… yep- this can happen!  While he didn’t provide any solution in the movie, I’m curious if he tried a vinegar & dish soap trap.

I’m surprised that he would get a bunch of flack for doing it… I see it as insecurities of everyone watching that now realizes they aren’t doing much to turn our issues around.

I challenge you to take one element from this movie and give it a shot… I’m going to try the pot-in-a-pot refrigerator.  I’ve heard about these in the past, but now I want to make it happen.

Also, I need to make my laundry detergent recipe better…more essential oils maybe?

My cooking skills suck, too… I can do better.  We can all do better.

 

Shred Your Leaves!

Wow, I got really lazy over the last few months in terms of shredding leaves.

Yesterday, I saw there were some bugs flying around the top of the pile and realized it was because the last time I added fresh food to the pile, I forgot to add fresh leaves.

The leaves I re-covered the pile with were un-shredded, and so it was only a matter of time until I needed to fix it.

Not everyone has a shredder, but maybe your neighbor does?  It’s really important and makes all the difference.

By doing so, you’ll get greater coverage for your food scraps, the material size is smaller, meaning it’ll get to work quicker and lastly you’ll see much higher composting temperatures.

Further, you’ll be able to store more in your backyard throughout the year when they’re shredded.

Oh yeah- and it’ll eliminate any odors, too.

Shredding your leaves for composting…get to it and reap the benefits.  It makes everything easier.

European storks skip migration to feast on human food waste

http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/2016/0316/European-storks-skip-migration-to-feast-on-human-food-waste

“Landfill sites provide abundant food resources that are reliable in both space and time, thus likely contributing to enabling individuals to remain in their breeding territory and on their nests year-round,” the team of British and Portuguese researchers explain in their study published Tuesday in the journal Movement Ecology.

Read this article.  Removing food from its proper nutrient cycle rears its ugly head again…

Composting Made Simple.