Let’s get composting!!

What to do with all those veggie peelings and fruit stalks?    
I know!  
Let’s get composting!

Composting is a brilliant way to make use of plant-based kitchen waste, paper and cardboard.  And of course you can add your garden waste too – everything from lawn clippings and small weeds to hedge-trimmings and faded flowers. 

Composting's also good for garden biodiversity, with many kinds of fungi and soil micro-organisms contributing to the process, while worms, woodlice, slugs etc feed on the decaying material. These in turn provide food for birds, hedgehogs, toads and other wildlife.  

By starting a compost heap, of any size, you’ll be teaching children that green waste isn’t really waste at all, it can be easily recycled into food for the garden.

Peppa Pig explains the concept of composting HERE

And our friends at Burgon and Ball have some fabulous composting tips to share HERE

Did you know that composting bins are available very cheaply from many UK local authorities;

check HERE to see if the scheme is available in your area.  

We bought our compost bin (below) from the council and we love it!   It stands in in a semi shaded spot to avoid over heating the worms 🪱 and mini beasts 🐜🪲 whose job it is to turn our kitchen scraps and household waste into nutrient rich compost to sprinkle around our vegetables and flowers in the spring.  Speaking from our own experience it usually takes around 12-18 months for a bin of this size to turn kitchen waste into compost.  This may seem like a long time, but it's definitely worth the wait!

Let's take the lid off our compost bin and take a peek inside...

... it's looking pretty full isn't it, but once the lid's replaced the contents quickly shrink down leaving plenty of room to keep adding more.

Fruit and veg peelings, inner tubes of kitchen/loo roll, newspaper, torn up cardboard and many other bits and bobs are added to our compost bin on a daily basis.  I keep a stainless steel bowl lined with newspaper to stop the contents sticking next to the kitchen sink.  A convenient reminder to compost what's compostable!  To give you a visual idea of some of the things you can compost, here's what went in our compost bin last week:

Below:  You've guessed it!  We had egg and chips for supper last night! And very yummy they were too! 
 
I thought I may have been able to still use some of the items below which had neatly tucked themselves out of view in the back of the chiller box, but as I reached for them I could feel they were beyond rescuing; practically turning to mush when I picked them up.  (I felt a little less guilty when I thought how well received they'd be by the family of worms in our compost bin awaiting their arrival!)   
Below:  We've eaten lots of watermelon in the last week - delicious with Feta topped with a sprig of basil grown in a pot on our kitchen windowsill 🌱
Beetroot, eaten and composted within an hour of picking.  You can't beat the taste of homegrown veg! 

Things you can compost:

Fruit and veg peelings/stalks
Grass cuttings
Dead house plants/bedding plants
Cardboard, ie torn up cereal packets, toilet/kitchen roll tubes, pizza boxes, egg boxes
Waste paper including old receipts and paper bags
Tea leaves and coffee grounds  it's best to shake tea out of tea bags as some bags contain plastic traces
Eggshells
Rabbit and guinea-pig bedding (ie, hay, straw, paper)
Pet hair and hair from your hairbrush
(This list isn't exhaustive, there are are lots of other things you can add too!)

Amongst other things, do NOT compost:

Meat, fish or dairy products
Cooked food
Plastic
Cat litter and dog poo
Coal or coke ash
In a nutshell, composting is a great activity for children to get involved in and can be a fun way to turn kitchen food waste, paper and cardboard into food for plants.   It teaches children lots about organic recycling and waste reduction too. When preparing a meal, why not ask your children to help you sort out which pieces they can put in their compost bin?  And please be sure to share your composting pics with us - we'd love to see them!  Thank you, and happy composting!   SARA X

Thank you for sharing your composting pics with us...

"We have 2 compost bins and turn the contents regularly to help it compost down. We have used the lovely compost in our garden. Clare"

Simmone has two compost bins - a fab idea if you have space for two.

"Like baking, making compost is a very satisfying process. I mix together uncooked, fruit and vegetable scraps from the kitchen, brown paper bags, toilet and kitchen roll centres (run under the tap and torn into bits), weeds, cardboard, grass cuttings, leaves and small twigs.  In 9 to 12 months my compost is ready to use (see below). Kathryn"

Scraps from breakfast

Weeds from the garden

... this all rots down

... and finally turns into compost

Tomatoes, herbs, Dahlias and cucumbers all benefitting from a top dressing of homemade compost

Just read about composting. It's usually Toby (Isabelle's dad) who is our Head - Compostier, but I want now do better at composting too. 

Please keep those fab pics coming!