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Spring has finally arrived and with that comes lots of chores in the garden.  One of the biggest is amending your soil in your garden beds. A major component of this mix is compost aka black gold–at least that is what I call it.  It is nutrient-rich and nourishes your plants so they will grow.

Here is a video of my first compost harvest of the season:

<I was actually shocked I was able to video and dig compost at the same time #madcameraskills>

I was so excited.  This amazing stuff came from my kitchen scraps.  It is true what they say,”One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

How to turn your scraps into black gold — compost? 5 Easy Steps

1)Get a compost bin for your kitchen.  I got mine from world market, but you can find them pretty much any where.

My big red compost bin for all my kitchen scraps.

My big red compost bin for all my kitchen scraps.

2)Start using your kitchen bin to collect your veggie peels, egg shells, coffee grounds and even paper towers. No MEAT, bones or oil.

3) Either create a pile or get one of the earth machines like mine (ironicly it isn’t a machine at all, just an aerated vessel with a sliding door).

4)Throughout the year just dump your scraps in your pile or bin.

5)Come spring time — Harvest and add to your soil.

It will save you some money too…I used to spend at least $40-$80 in compost when I had to buy it from the store. Now I just transform my scraps into compost. I use the extra cash to pay for my plant habit ;).

Happy Gardening!

m


I have lots of people tell me they can’t grow things or they aren’t gardeners…in fact just a few days ago a friend of mine said, “I am not really a gardener because I don’t know how to plant things, but I do know how to take of things.”  Well that statement inspired this post…

3 Questions to determine if you are a gardener

  1. Can you follow directions?
  2. Do you mind getting dirty?
  3. Can you take care of things?

That’s it.  Those 3 questions pretty much sum up gardening.

Directions are key…knowing what to grow where is critical for plant success.

Dirt is a part of gardening, so if you aren’t willing to get a little on you then you won’t enjoy gardening.

Care is how gardens grow and survive. All the great poets reference “nurturing” gardens because it is true.  Once you plant things, you have to be dedicated enough to water, feed, prune or divide.

If after the test you have decided to be a gardener. Here is a post to get you started from my co-writer, Chris.

Happy Gardening

melissa


Since it was in the 50s today, I took the time to go outside.  I went to check on the progress of my black gold…no, not oil, but compost!

Me and my compost

Yep, that’s me.  The feeling of rich, natural “fertilizer love” running through my fingers…yeah..that’s the stuff!

Don’t sweat it if you don’t have a composter like my ‘lil rig.  You can just start a pile out of the way. If you have pets, you may want to put up a barrier or fence to keep them out.

Why is composting so cool?  Let me count the ways.

1) Saves Money.

Your garden needs compost to flourish…and lots of it.  When you start adding up the $3 a bag stuff…it costs!

2) Eco-friendly!

Now, I am not a total tree-huger, though I will admit I do sway to the left.  This just makes plain sense. You have lots of organic waste everyday and instead of filling the landfills, you can reuse instead. On average, 20% of your waste is compostable. Talk about a win-win.

3) Another garden miracle.

It is amazing to see the transformation from coffee grounds and veggie peels to compost. It doesn’t happen over night. It has helped me learn patience. You just keep adding…

4) Rids you of unnecessary guilt.

I hate it when a piece of fruit goes bad…so wasteful!  This way, if that happens then I can use it in another way–transform it into compost for my garden.

Don’t feel like you have to buy a designer compost bin.  Look at mine.

Groovy Homemade Compost Bin

I recycled my kitty Sanford’s litter bin.  I cut some old flower pics from magazines and decoupaged them on the plastic bin. Say that word out loud…DECOUPAGE!  Instant Compost Bin.

What to compost? Here are some simple rules to remember:

  • Nothing with oil
  • No diary
  • No animal parts
  • No eggs

Pretty much everything else goes…paper towels/napkins, coffee filters and grounds, fruit and veggie scraps, leaves, grass clipings…

So go forth and compost.  Then, go ahead, give yourself some cool points!

A long-time gardener and a passionate beginner share the dirt on their NC gardens-

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