Compost

Compost is a bit of a passion of mine, you could say. Some folks around here call me the “Compost Lady”.

Lately I have been giving demonstrations and talks at schools and community groups, and I’d be happy to talk to your group, too!

It always seems like a bit of magic that I can throw so much organic waste into a bin, add wood chips, water, stir it up and let it go. Then I have a very valuable soil amendment for the garden.

I also love the fact that it means I have VERY little “waste” at my home. Our garbage is one very small bag for a week, certainly not a big garbage bin full.

I have four different compost systems going:

-my “tall boy” black bin which does most of the heavy lifting. Harvesting it makes a bit of a mess and it can be a bit awkward to turn the compost, but that doesn’t really bother me.

-a vermicomposter on the deck which takes about 1 Litre/week (so not nearly enough for me, but good for single folks).

I got the vermicomposter through an initiative they had going in Vancouver a number of years ago. For $20 you got the bin, some red wiggler worm, a bit of straw, a book and a training sessions! I though that was brilliant and have been hooked ever since.

-a leaf pile and in winter I’d like to have a the option of a pick-up service like Spa Hills Compost through the city so I don’t have to send anything to the landfill when all systems are frozen in the winter.

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Compost Lady in Action

 

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Vermicompost bin full to the brim in winter

 

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Working worms in wet compost. This compost actually needs more carbon (woody material)  and time to mature.

 

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Full-to-the-brim “Tall Boy” composter. Ideally, you should chop your food waste into smaller pieces than this and remove any small plastic stickers from produce.

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When mixing this up, it’s a good idea to add more carbon, or wood chips, shredded newspaper, dead leaves.

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Vermicomposter

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Fall fills up all the bins!

When harvesting your compost, you’l need to sift out the big chunks and pick out the helpful worms to throw them back in for the next batch.

Once you have finished compost, you can get a pump and make compost tea which can be used a s foliar spray or applied directly to soil a few times throughout the summer! Let the pumps run for about 48 hours with a generous handful of compost in a bag that will keep it intact. Once the compost tea is done, you can throw that compost right back into the composter.

If you’d like to learn more about composting, please contact me for a one-on-one training session or sign up for hthis course I am teaching at Okanagan College on April 13th, 2019