Some progress on the new compost pile

I made some progress on building our new compost pile - finally, I got around to making the pile! I put it in the woods behind our house. So much snow has melted these past few days and a fluffy bed of leaves was exposed, so I dumped my buckets right on top. Then I covered the kitchen scraps with a sheet of newspaper and some more leaves. I did break one of the rules of winter composting - the scraps in my buckets weren't cut into small pieces, but going forward, they will be. Come to think of it, I probably should have ripped up the newsprint too. Oh well, live and learn, right?

Remember how I talked about green layers and brown layers in the compost pile? All organic matter has a ratio of carbon to nitrogen (C:N) in its tissues. The ratio for kitchen scraps is 15:1. The ratio for dead leaves is 60:1. 30:1 is the ideal ratio for creating a compost pile that heats up well and generates enough microbial activity to turn the pile to rich compost in a shorter period of time. The compost pile is teeming with bacteria that break down the waste. The "food" that keeps them going comes in the form of carbon and nitrogen. Carbon provides energy and nitrogen helps them produce the protein they need to grow.

Material that is high in carbon is called "brown" and material high in nitrogen is called "green." If the C:N ratio is too high, decomposition will slow down, and if it's too low, the pile will begin to smell.

So there you have it, a mini-course on composting in your backyard. Stay tuned as I grow my pile and learn more about it.

While I was making the pile, I spotted a few sets of red fox tracks in the woods - I haven't seen them in 10 days. The claw marks on the red fox print are pretty neat to see in the snow. This fox was walking from the left to the right of your screen.

We also took a family trip to the state park for a walk and took lots of wonderful photos, but I will save those for next week, when my camera will (hopefully) be in for service - a much-needed cleaning and tune up!


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About Me

My name is Jillian. I started this blog as a way to experiment with my camera and it's a become a nice little spot where I enjoy spending time. I'm a mother to 6 and 4 year old daughters, wife to a cool computer guy, and mama to a cuddly cat. We enjoy eating local, organic food; managing several food allergies; homeschooling with love; spending time in nature; and we love to take time each day to be creative. You can also find me over at From Scratch Club from time to time. Welcome!