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Composting in the Winter

Does composting stop in the winter?  Nope, at least not here on the West Coast.  The composting microbes, and even worms, are still working but very slowly, like food in the fridge.  If you made hot compost in the fall, by filling a bin or pile with mixed carbon and nitrogen rich materials at once, you may have a toasty pile all winter.  We have seen melted snow on ours.  Keep adding the browns (leaves, straw, wood chips, shredded paper, etc.) and greens, small pieces if you can, (kitchen scraps, coffee grounds, weeds, etc.) and make sure it is damp but not soaked.  Even if it is slow now, as soon as the temperature warms, the compost will be a...

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5 Ways Composting Helps the Environment (And Your Soul!)

Guest post by Eric H, another compost enthusiast!  Composting has become more and more popular over the years as more homeowners and communities are working to help create a cleaner, “greener” environment. If you’re not familiar with the process, composting is when we take food and plant waste and recycle it through its natural process, creating compost which can be used as a natural fertilizer. It has a number of great benefits for our health and environment. Composting Reduce Greenhouse Gasses When we throw away food waste in the trash, it gets taken by our local waste management company (or by your dad on Saturday mornings to your local “dump”) and that’s the last you typically think about it. No...

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Put your composter on Earth!

From the Comox Valley Echo, Tuesday 2 July 2013, Ask a Pro Question: Does my composter need to sit on earth or can I put it on the patio? Answer: Good composters sit on earth or lawn to take advantage of the diverse microbes in the soil underneath. Worms and macro-organisms will be attracted to the feast. Water can transfer and keep the moisture content more stable. In a warm moist environment, bacteria can double about every 20 minutes. So one cell could multiply to over a billion in 10 hours. Talk about compound interest! They will make fast work of your organic scraps and leave a smorgasbord for the worms. And all that rich nutritive material added to your...

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Why Backyard Composting is Better than Municipal Composting

From the Comox Valley Echo, Tuesday 5 March 2013, Ask a Pro Question: Why is backyard composting better than municipal composting? Answer: You don’t have large diesel trucks rumbling through neighbourhoods. It doesn’t require large tracks of land for processing. It costs less. My Mum pays $275.52 a year for her privately-owned curbside pickup in Victoria. But a good composter (ok, like our Speedibin!) costs $199 and lasts about 30 years, under $7 per year. The town of Fredericton calculated that 3,000 backyard composters saved over $100,000 a year in waste disposal. Best of all, you get rich compost for your garden and you know what’s in it. A comprehensive study was done in North Van if you want to...

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The Compost Resolution

Admiring some compost From the Comox Valley Echo, Tuesday 8 January 2013, Ask a Pro   Question: I resolve to start composting in 2013. What do I need? Answer: Excellent resolution! Backyard composting is one of the most effective things an individual can do to improve the environment. There are many ways to compost – a system to fit every situation. Consider: Backyard bins (our favourite of course!) Indoor vermicomposting with red wiggler worms Open three-compartment pens for yard waste Trenches or pits buried in your garden Communal compost systems for condos, schools and commercial kitchens In-ground digesters to dispose of waste rather than produce compost Bokashi fermenting systems to pre-digest wastes before further composting Or even a basic “chop...

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