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My roomie and I were thinking about starting a compost. I have been reading up on them and was just wanting to get other peoples opinions. We live in a townhouse so we would probably have to do with an enclosed bin style. My main question is should we use worms or not. Just looking for any info/opinions or examples people can send my way. Thanks :)
 

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Not yet, but planning to start one... no clue about the worms thing yet! I look forward to reading other people's replies!
 

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In the province where I live, it is mandetory to compost...oh how I wish this were true for all provinces and states. It really is not that hard!

Since we have our compost trucked away every two weeks, I am not quite as familiar with keeping the food waste to break down at home, but I do know a little. Worms are not etirely necessary, BUT it may speed up the process which might be important to you if you find your bin getting full too quickly. Keep it in a shaded area...this will help with any smell once the weather gets warmer.

Also learn about the best materials to put in your bin. Too much paper products or large pieces of food take a LONG time to break down!

Best of luck! And good for you for taking the initiative to compost!
 

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Thank you LunarFlame. I couldnt believe it when I read the breakdown of how much garbage is just food matter that could be composted. I love the idea of recycling it into something beneficial for the environment and like the idea of fertilizing my garden with it rather than chemical fertilizers.
 

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Composter here! Granted, I live on 3 acres, and my goal is to turn this property into a sustainably-run mini-farm - so compost is an essential part of the equation!

I started composting last fall when I moved into my new house. I use a wooden 3-bin system - one bin is for adding new material, one bin is full, and let alone to finish composting, and one bin is for storing finished compost to use later. I started by clipping down all the decorative grasses for the winter, and threw those in the bin. Then, I started bagging all our grass clippings when we mowed - 2 acres worth a week! :D It added up fast and broke down really fast. I also added any leftover produce scraps, and all the piles of leaves that fell off our trees. This year, I'm adding chicken waste and shavings since I now have a small flock of laying hens.

I love composting - it's such an easy and productive process, and for me it's absolutely essential to manage the waste here, and recycle the nutrients for my produce gardens.
 

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My compost system is very lazy. I have a wire fence enclosure where I just throw all our yard waste, fall leaves, and kitchen scraps (include coffee grounds and filters). I just let it sit there and it eventually becomes compost. I turn it maybe once a season. A worm bin can be done inside, you just need kitchen scraps. If you don't have a lot of yard waste, this may be the best way to go.
 

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Nekomi- I would love to start the three bin system. It seems that it would be easier to manage. Unfortunatley I just dont have the room. Maybe one day! :D Good for you for doing it!

MMM- I read that people have the worm bins in there homes. This idea just doesnt appeal to me (having a bin of decaying scraps and worms in my house) I know its actually fine and if you do it properly not smelly or anything but I just cant bring myself to doing it when I do have a backyard available.

Thanx for the replies!
 

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Avid composter here! I have 3 separate compost piles in my yard. One is for a mix of oak leaves(which take much longer to compost) and have to be more vigorious on what i add to it for breakdown. One that is pine and kitchen scraps, And one with various amendements, such as old potting soil, various leaves and grass clippings. All three get their share of kitchen scraps and once a month they all get a can of beer. The oak pile gets 2 cans( thats the lush pile:D)The acid works magic on getting the pile to marinate and compost much quicker than without. I turn it about once every 2 weeks. The piles are all on the ground and the worms have found thier way into each of them and great for fishing in my pond.

I am one of those people that go down the road and see a bunch of leaf bags set out on the road for collection and I fill my truck up to the brim. In fact the season is here and I have already brought home 2 truckloads. Its a wonder i have freinds that will go somewhere with me only to stop and fill up the truck with trashbags..lol

I <3 compost.
 

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I will be going into composting sometime soonh hopefully, First I have to get my Wind Turbine project done. lol
 

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Composter here! Granted, I live on 3 acres, and my goal is to turn this property into a sustainably-run mini-farm - so compost is an essential part of the equation!

I started composting last fall when I moved into my new house. I use a wooden 3-bin system - one bin is for adding new material, one bin is full, and let alone to finish composting, and one bin is for storing finished compost to use later. I started by clipping down all the decorative grasses for the winter, and threw those in the bin. Then, I started bagging all our grass clippings when we mowed - 2 acres worth a week! :D It added up fast and broke down really fast. I also added any leftover produce scraps, and all the piles of leaves that fell off our trees. This year, I'm adding chicken waste and shavings since I now have a small flock of laying hens.

I love composting - it's such an easy and productive process, and for me it's absolutely essential to manage the waste here, and recycle the nutrients for my produce gardens.
I tried to pm you, but you pm's are full.. but..

I'm starting a compost area here, and I like how you have your bins. Is there a way you can post pictures so that I can have a layout like what you have. That is, if you don't mind.

Thanks a bunch-
 

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We compost and just started using worms last year. They make a huge difference! We have two compost areas plus a bin and use the black gold to fill our beds each spring. Worms help the process go faster and I think the resulting soil is more enriched.

I have no idea how to do it in a townhouse, but there's probably something on the Internet. :) Good luck!
 

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Sorry to resurrect such an old thread, but I realized that people asked for pics of my compost system and I completely forgot to post them!!





This is actually our brand-new bin system that we put together last weekend. It's huge (10' x 8' x 4' high), and we put it over a base of cement pavers to minimize runoff and nutrient loss into the surrounding soil. It makes it easier to run a shovel or rake along the bottom, too! I use a garden cart to haul the lawn waste into the bins, and an old steel pitchfork to turn the pile. A backyard compost doesn't need to be anywhere NEAR this large, but because we are running a mini-farm with livestock, bigger is definitely better. ;)
 

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I'm glad you posted! Those are... well, beautiful! LOL We're building another one soon and this gives me some great ideas! Thanks!
 

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Wow, I forgot I posted on this thread! :D As of this past weekend, I have joined the ranks of the composters... it feels SO good not to have to throw away fruit that got a little soft or lettuce that got a little slimy!

I bought a bin at Sam's Club called the SoilSaver, for $39. I'm not quite handy enough to build one! nekomi, those bins are AMAZING... thank you for posting photos of them!

I've been reading up on vermicomposting (using worms) and although I can see the appeal, I'm going to stick with regular ("hot") composting. Earthworms have already started making their way into my compost bin on their own, but that wouldn't be considered worm composting... from what I understand you need red worms (red wigglers) to do true worm composting.

Everyone says you can't compost dog poo, but I found a site that has a special dog poop composting thing... I can't find it now but the idea of being able to compost dog poop is pretty cool! :D

Here are some resources that have helped me in my composting adventure:

http://www.composting101.com

http://www.plantea.com/compost.htm

http://www.helpfulgardener.com/phpBB2/viewforum.php?f=35&sid=f5ba3f2cbbcb8785f7924beadd5fb854

Here's one about worm composting: http://compostinstructions.com/worm-composting-vermicomposting
 

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Those are great links! I'm interested in vermicompost too, but I just have too many other projects on my plate this year to get started. Next year I'd love to start a worm bin, though!

I'm glad you all like my new compost bins!! They were surprisingly easy to put together - it took roughly 3 hours from start-to-finish (another hour to lay the pavers the night before, but the soil was relatively level already).

BTW - Julie, your poodles are absolutely stunning. What great photos of them in your sig!!!
 
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