Thursday, April 28, 2011

A secret source for prime compost material

Today I called Tom Thumb, a local grocery store, and asked to speak with the produce manager. I related to them that I was interested in what they did with their old produce and if I could have some to put into my compost bin.

If you're place is like mine, there is no way you can fill your compost bin to the top with just the lawn clippings and garden refuse from your own family's consumption.

I have tried a few ways to add to my piles. My neighbor owns a landscaping company and he regularly donates bags of leaves to the pile that compliment my lawn clippings (every other cut) and my garden and table scraps. Oak and elm are excellent brown (carbon) material for compost bins.

Today after work, I stopped by the grocery store and they had a large box of lettuce waiting for me to pick up! I can stop by weekly and pick up their refuse. Just think of all those nutrients adding to my soil! Iceberg, mixed lettuce leaves and spinach were what I was given. I'm hoping to get other vegetables in the future.

Speaking of my compost, I just emptied out last year's bin and applied a thick topping to all my garden spots and my apple trees. The dirt was so dark and rich and teeming with worms, I just know my plants are going to love it. BTW, I use free pallets to make two bins- one for each year, and rotate them as it takes about a year to cook it down to dirt.

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