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Monday, September 28, 2009

My Waste is Getting Smaller

We went to Red Butte Gardens here as a family for memorial day and it inspired me to write another article about composting. Red Butte Gardens is a non-profit botanical and ecological center provided by University of Utah. It is a good place to go to learn about growing both flowers and vegetables in the Utah area.

While we were there we were able to check out a couple of the compost methods that they are using. You might recall that I showed you how to build a simple backyard composter for a small garden. Here are some additional methods that they were using.

The first composter was a very simple and functional bin made out of wood. You can see in the picture the list of things that are allowed and not allowed in the compost bin. This seems like a great method as it is open and I believe it would be easy to sift and mix the compost. My personal opinion is this is more for a larger garden area as opposed to the garden we have on our .11 acre plot of land in the city.

The second composter was one that they purchased called a can o worms vermicomposter. This was a fun one for me to look at as it uses worms to help with the breakdown of your household waste into beautiful soil for your garden. I also like the feature on this composter that allowed the compost tea to drain out of the bottom of the unit into a bucket. This tea can then be used as a liquid fertilizer for your garden. There are many worm composters available out there and maybe next spring I will make a homemade worm composter to share with you.

So how has our composter done for us? Here is a picture of our compost. This is what comes from some of our table scraps, a little chicken poop, hay, grass clippings, yard waste, and shredded newspaper. It’s very fulfilling to know we are reducing our household waste and at the same time helping to improve our garden’s output.

There are many ways to compost and these are just a few of the methods. Send us some pictures of your composters and let us know how they are working out.

Mike Johnson

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