Turning Kitchen Scraps into Garden Gold

Turning kitchen scraps into gardening gold with Composting

Living in a house as a foodie with a chef for a husband means two things:

  1. We eat some really good meals
  2. We have a decent amount of food waste

Sometimes it's because someone got inspired and picked up rare ingredients we'll only use once. Others it's because we tried something new that just didn't turn out right.

Even just with peels and stems, more food scraps go into our trash than we'd like. Right now, that food sits in a plastic bag, goes off to the dump, and gets set in a hole where it takes longer than it should to break down.

This month, we're going to put that food waste to better use: creating nutrient-rich compost for our garden!

 

Inside Compost Bin

Turning kitchen scraps into gardening gold with Composting

The first part of our compost set up is our countertop compost can. Ours is both functional and it fits in with our farmhouse decor beautifully!

Having an indoor bin is important because the easier composting is, the more likely you'll be to do it. If you have to go outside after every meal to dump into the composter, or have something you want to hide under the sink, it's just not going to happen as often.

You can use a bucket, or an old plastic food container, but I like having something that doesn't look bad on my countertop. Plus, mine comes with a filter that helps cut down on the gross smells that can come with food scraps. It's easy to wash too!

They don't sell ours anymore, but here is a similar one that I'm a fan of.

 

What you can and cannot compost

 

Turning kitchen scraps into gardening gold with Composting
Turning kitchen scraps into gardening gold with Composting

Composting is a science. Certain foods break down better than others and because of that you have to be pretty careful with what you put in yours. You don't want oily, greasy foods because those smell awful and attract predators.

Because it can be a little complicated, I made this handy printable to help you keep track. You can print two separate tags, or one double-sided tag. It can tie right around your indoor composting bin (I'd laminate it, if I were you) and be a helpful reminder anytime you forget what you shouldn't put in. You can download the front here and the back here.

 




 

Your Composter
Turning kitchen scraps into gardening gold with Composting

There are many kinds of composters you can have. You can build a small inside one with a rubbermaid bin if you have an apartment, you can buy one from the store if you don't have the time to make one, or there are plenty of tutorials out there to make your own.

Personally, I prefer the tumbling composter. Instead of having to get into your pile and stir it (which sounds kinda gross and difficult) you just turn the bins and it stirs it for you! It's enclosed, so not as many worries about pests, and I can fit our wheelbarrow under ours so it's easy to move the finished compost to our garden.

We made a Tumbling Composter Tutorial so you can make one like ours, we used two 55 gallon drums, some wood and some hardware! We spent less than $75 on ours, but if you want to buy one you can find some as low as $85 like the one pictured above.

Once you have everything set up, it's time to start composting. In a short while you will have rich compost that you can use in your garden or sell! If you need more information on the basics behind the science of it, here is a handy infographic on how to compost.

This is just one post in a series on our journey to waste less.

If you'd like to start from the beginning or read more, you can do so here:

Waste-less

7 Surprising Things You Can Recycle

Waste-less: Recycling Wrap Up

Going out

Going Out Wrap Up

Ditch the Junk

Ditch the Junk Wrap Up

Turning Kitchen Scraps into Garden Gold

2 thoughts on “Turning Kitchen Scraps into Garden Gold

  • April 5, 2017 at 5:12 pm
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    what about citrus and banana peelings? My husband says no…I don’t wanna waste them

    Reply
    • April 5, 2017 at 5:36 pm
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      Yes! Citrus and banana peelings are fine, we use them in our composter. One note though: It seems that if you’re doing a worm composter, worms don’t like citrus. If you have a regular composter though like us it can be tossed in just like everything else 🙂

      Reply

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