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Sunday, 27 September 2015

A Great Freebie and Why I'm Not Composting Kitchen Scraps

Strange Coincidence?
Last week as I was making my cold frames I thought - what I need is perspex to cover them. Well Derek arrived home from work that night with 6 sheets of perspex! His whole office has just moved and he has come home with a few things that were about to be thrown out.

The vege garden is full of constructions using free materials. Not pretty, but well, free.

The perspex had been covering some posters and was a bit scratched - but perfect for covering my plants. I'm saving one sheet to make a solar dehydrator like the one below for the abundant tomatoes I'm hoping to grow. 

Eschewing the compost bin with the kitchen scraps
I remember when I was young that we always dug the kitchen scraps into a trench in the garden. So when I discovered that we had rodents in our compost bins again, I decided burying it all was the way to go. Since then I have read, in "Organic NZ" magazine, that it is far better to bury scraps than to compost them. The scraps break down much quicker, and "much more fixed carbon stays fixed, incorporated directly into live cells and bodies that will become food for other life forms in the web of soil life".
The garden soil is looking great and is full of worms. I usually throw a handful of sheep pellets in with the scraps as that encourages those worms to get in there.

So here's where that compost went...

Before and after

.. because I couldn't stand the thought of using it around the food crops. It made an instant garden, along with free driftwood from the river, and free plants that I split up from the garden. 
So now I just use the compost bins for lawn clippings and garden waste and use the contents on the ornamentals.


  1. I had forgotten I knew about that method until I read your post!! I saw it on an Australian gardening show...I can't remember which one...the old bloke they were interviewing did it with all his food scraps, I remember thinking I would like to try it, but then I promptly forgot about it!

    I am so going to try that, thank you!

    One question, why can't you bear the thought of putting your scraps near the veggies?

    1. It's because it's had rats in it, normally I would happily put the compost in the vege garden.

  2. We've done the trench method before, too, but it was in a very cold climate and didn't break down as quickly as we had thought it would. We have a barrel composted now made from a garbage bin, which we roll on its side to mix it, and it's working quite well. Also free as we had the bin on hand!
    Those free plexiglass sheets are nice to have.

    1. That would be the way to go Cynthia, but it would have to be steel to stop them chewing their way in, or like the ones I have seen that rats couldn't climb up to.

  3. I have been burying my food scraps forever. It never made sense to take up valuable space with a compost bin or collection of them and do all that work to turn them. During the winter months I freeze my kitchen scraps and bury them in the spring. It works well as the frozen food decomposes faster than scraps that haven't been frozen so my garden beds are fully decomposed and beautiful in time for spring planting.

    1. I think there has been a lot of publicity around composting but not around burying. You are right, burying makes so much more sense.


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