Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Musings from the (now) Queen of Kitchen Composting

Nine-One-Four Kitchen Composting Inc., Est. 2013, opened for business Saturday.

Just one more thing to add to the old resume.

As you may recall, it's all part of our commitment to keep the compost bins and Team Chicken well stoked at When Pigs Fly Farm.

And he shall be named Walter.
As a result, a jaunty red compost bin, made with bamboo and other completely sustainable materials, now resides under the kitchen sink. Yay me.

And I also now know EXACTLY where to find stink-proof charcoal filters at Fred Meyer's -- an indispensable accessory to kitchen composting as I understand it. Double yay me.

So now what?

I've tried my hand at garden composting before in the Back Forty. It was, shall we say, a less than successful experiment. The compost pile's location was not ideal, and on a good day, I'm an enthusiastic, yet neglectful laissez-fair gardener at best. (There's a reason I only plant perennials bearing the labels that read: "Drought tolerant. Thrives on neglect.") As a result, I did not attend to the compost pile as conscientiously as one should.

By the end of the summer, I was rewarded with a rock-solid pile of partially decomposed garden detritus, stunningly accessorized by snippets of egg shells and orange peel. It took me the next two summers to finally break apart dig out that sucker. Thus ended my foray into composting.

There's a reason the stuff comes in 10-pound bags.

But now fast forward to When Pigs Fly Farm where composting, first under Farmer Jim's watch and now Farmer Sam and Farmanatrix Kate's, has been wildly successful.

I have seen The Light. I have imbibed the Komposting Kool-aid. Homemade compost rocks. And as long as someone else is in charge of turning the compost pile, I will happily contribute my garden -- AND kitchen -- waste to keep WPFF and Team Chicken fat and happy.

So what can we kitchen compost? my date asked Saturday. Hmmmmmm. A quick visit to the University of Google revealed the answer: The "No" List is short and sweet: No meat, bones, dairy or icky, oily sauces.

The "Good" List is far more inclusive: Vegetable and fruit scraps, crushed egg shells, coffee grounds, tea bags, cooked rice and pasta, bread and grain products and flower and house plant clippings. On the non-edible (at least amongst the peeps I run with) side of the composting equation -- shredded brown paper bags and napkins also are allowed.

Walter: Burr-rrr-rrr--ppp.
And then I learned this -- dryer lint (natural fibers only, please), pet fur, human hair and nail clippings also are on the kitchen compost "Good" List.


I think I'll keep the lint, hair, fur and nail clippings to myself. First, I'm not sure Team Chicken would appreciate these particular delicacies. And second, in the event of a Zombie Voo Doo  Apocalypse -- which I'm sure will occur sometime in my life-- who wants all that DNA floating around the compost pile?

Think about it.

1 comment:

  1. What a good girl you are.

    Nail clippings and fur seem a bit bizarre. Didn't think they even deteriorated. Napkins and brown bags...never thought of that. I don't compost here. Not enough sun.