Tonight I took the third class in the WSU King CountyExtension service Tools for Resourceful Living -Composting
I have composted for some time, but I am always the first to admit I am no expert. This class helps answer questions that we all have. Like How often should I turn my compost? Answer- whenever you find your self wondering if you should turn your compost! Turning frequently allows oxygen to get in and feed the little critters that live in your compost- worms, microbial critters that feed and poop compost.
What kind of compost bin should I buy? Some people choose to go binless, simply building a compost pile in a convenient spot on the ground. Others build bins from materials such as recycled pallets, or two-by-fours and plywood. And, of course, there are many commercial bins on the market. Including Worm Bin's for "vermi-composting". There are no Rat-proof composters, so be careful about putting food wastes in your compost bin. The smell attracts rats, who network very well and soon other rats join in the fun. Make sure your food wastes are covered.
I prefer to use a hierarchy to my composting- 1- the bin, 2- the worm bin and 3- the Yard waste bin that goes to Cedar Grove for composting at their plant. I put greens and browns (Nitrogen and carbon) in the Composter- Greens like squash vines, tomato plants, yard waste. I put food scraps (vegetable, fruit, egg shells) in the worm bin. And finally Major yard waste goes in the Yard Waste bin, As well as food scraps. Luckily, I live in area that allows us to use our Yard Waste bins for food scraps and allows us to put Pizza Boxes, napkins, delivery boxes (non coated) and fast food wraps in it as well. I never compost meat or dairy because 1- I don't have any (leftovers) and 2-That is a sure way to attract rats- we never have any left over meat or bones because we have Topaz ("Spaz" or "Stu" for short), the chocolate wonder-lab who happily eats any leftovers. She even ate an entire turkey,once- carcass and all but that was not done on purpose. I boil turkey carcasses and meat bones for stock, and if the are major bones (Beef bones- knuckle bones-ham hocks) she happily chews on those after I boil the hell out of them. Spike the pug sometimes helps her out but since Binky the Yorkie has no teeth he kinda gets left out. Unless it is bread or something soft- which is not too often, as I don't think breads are good for any of the dogs.
Anyway I digress- composting is easy, whether you do it by Yard Waste or Green bin, Compost bin, Worm Bin or a compost pile- It reduces the amount of garbage you send out. And that is a good thing! Anyone can compost- Apartment dwellers can have a worm bin, or even if you only use the Yard waste or "Green" Bin- you are composting! And mashed sweet potatoes for dinner tonight- lucky for Binky!