Photo: Great grandparents at their farm in Blandinsville, IL, with five of their six children .. my grandpa was yet a twinkle in grandma's eye. Stable boy and governess also pictured. Hodges farm, circa 1903-4

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The compost heaps are 'cooking' right along. Because I have the room, there are three different piles in various stages of decomposition in the back forty. They are just above the garden area, that way if there should be any water run off from rain, the nutrients will go directly into the garden. For a smaller yard, a person could find a small unused area out of sight, or invest in a compost bin. Because we have quite a bit of material that goes into the mix and we have the room, I've opted to take the cheap road and just have piles. If you have a dog that likes 'free treats' of watermelon rind, I'd opt for the bins. For a while, we had a barrel shaped ring of chicken wire that we'd pile all the fresh clippings and veggie scraps into ... but alas the dog learned how to get into it ... so now I've just laid the wire out flat on top of the fresh pile and placed a few bricks on top to keep her from raiding it. Last week I added the seeds and ends of oodles of hot chili peppers ... with the hope of teaching Miss Holly to stay out ... Let's hope the heavy bricks do the trick. One day last week I noticed two beautiful tomato plants growing around my apple trees ... this is an area I had put some home made compost around the trunks ... the seeds are from some trimmings. Stuff like this does not bother me ... it's an added bonus ... but the plants will not have time to fully develop with autumn approaching. Had I found them earlier this year, I would have transplanted them to a better location.


Top ... newest pile of compost
Middle ... 'half baked' compost
Bottom ... finished compost pile


Felisol said...

Dear Mrs. Mac,
you are so clever. This composting thing really gets to me. For a year now I have been trying, bought a bin, even read the instructions. Nothings cooking her, just flat withered grass and hedge clippings.
And snails.
I guess there's something I just cannot do, I'll have to let it go..
in the kitchen waist disposal.
We are delivering our waist in fours. One for paper, one for plastic, one for kitchen waist and a fourth for the rest..
Glass and tin can be delivered for recycling where we shop our groceries.
I still will be needing to buy five sacks of earth at the gardening center.
I could do without that if I had your skills.
Next month will be the time for be to tuck in the plants for the winter.
How this summer has fled.
From Felisol

Mrs. Mac said...

Hi Felisol ... I hear you about slugs and snails ... growing up along the ocean coast, we were bombarded with the pests. Now we only get one or two slugs ... and I've never seen them in the veggie garden. Have you seen the compost bin that is off the ground? It's a cylinder shaped bin on sturdy legs that has a handle on the side for giving it a tumble or spin to mix things up? If I had garden snails or slugs, and wanted to compost, I'd try to get my hands on such a model. How do you 'tuck away your plants' for the winter in Norway? I overwinter some of my geraniums in paper bags placed under our home in the crawlspace. I need to research about overwintering my strawberry plants. They are still producing berries that I try to pick each morning before my dog snatches them ;) ... Hugs from the North Woods

Margie said...

i think i am going to try this!!