Composting, with dogs, in small spaces!

Compost has been a slight issue for me.  Between having a dog (Hamish, hardly ever Lucy!) that digs and eats EVERYTHING as well as a small garden, it has not been an easy road.

Hamish & Lucy
Just look at the dog defense system we had to install. Sigh.

I tried a wormerie, apparently they are super easy and hassle free, but somehow I did not manage to master that one.

I then moved on to Bokashi, which does work well and is awesome except for the fact that I have to remember to drain it and remember to not leave it in there too long before burying. I also then have to bury it somewhere in our garden where Hamish cannot access it. I also have to remember to not dig up that area for a decent amount of time.  A lot of remembering for a busy person.

My main reason for quitting the bokashi – I had to pay for it, I also had to remember to buy it so that when I ran out I didn’t have to end up storing food waste in my freezer, until I remembered to go to the shop to get some.  I hate going to the shops. I then also end up having to buy it in plastic sacks.

So: small space, dog with eating disorder, remembering, paying and plastic packaging. The end of my bokashi life.

I still had my two tubs from my wormerie days, with lids and small holes drilled in the bottom. So I decided to use that with just soil from the garden.  It also has a lid on it so the dogs cannot get to it.  Also easy to move around.

I accumulate my food waste in a 2kg tub in the fridge. I place a layer of soil from the garden in the base of the tub with holes in the bottom that is in the garden. This soil naturally contains worms and microbes and other creepy crawlies.  Then a layer of food waste, then another layer of soil from the garden.  So a bit of a food waste lasagne.  I then just keep topping till it is full.  I leave it probably about a month depending what is in there. Big or small chunks of food waste will determine how long it takes to break down and get processed by the bugs and worms.  Then I use it in my garden beds and pots. The first time I did this, it was like opening a bag of compost – amazing!

This might not work for everyone, but it works for me. Also, we do not have a huge amount of food waste, most of it is raw as generally no food goes to waste in our house! It is normally scraps from making stock and bones that would be the cooked food waste.

4 comments

  1. This seems like a great solution; I’m impressed that it only takes a month to convert the scraps to compost!
    We’ve used a very low-tech, casual approach and just throw our scraps into a hole (which is turning into a heap). This takes a lot longer to make compost. I think we left it for a few years before we finally used it! When we did, we had loads of mystery plants sprouting up – they turned out to mostly be gem squash and butternut. 🙂

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    • Try it – it’s pretty awesome. A lot of factors will determine the speed – size of food waste chunks – how many earthworms are in the soil you are adding, temperature etc. When I am gardening if I find earthworms, I chuck them in the compost bin. When I empty it it, I gather any worms I can find and chuck them in the new bin.

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