Friday, March 09, 2012

No Toil Backyard Composting

These photos are from several weeks ago, when Princeton was in the depths of winter, buried in one inch of snow. The brief episode of winterish weather was useful for visualizing the regular nature walks we take back to ye ol' compost pile,
which happens to be a repurposed rabbit hutch from the 1960s. Our neighbors bring their foodscraps over to add to decompositional festivities.

It's really pretty simple. Toss the vegetable scraps in a pile, allow lots of air in to keep the decomposition anaerobic and therefore odorless, don't bother to stir. A fence along the front keeps the dog out. I haven't seen anything visiting it other than crows now and then. Shrubs planted along the front screen it from view.

The enclosure is wide enough to have two piles--older and newer--so that mature compost can be accessed without having to dig through the undecomposed vegetables.

Great soil, no toil. Ruth Stout, who back in the 1950s wrote one of, or perhaps the, foundational text on minimal work gardening, "How to Have a Green Thumb Without an Aching Back", would be pleased.

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