Lazy Urban Composting: Part 1 – It Ain’t a Brush Pile

After an inspirational composting workshop at Cheney Mansion, I started composting in earnest. I was always a bit intimidated about getting the right ratio of green to brown correct, etc., but the head gardener at Cheney convinced me that the important thing to do was to just start composting and not get all perfectionist about it. (The exception was to not have it be all grass clippings, but with a very small lawn and a reel mower, this isn’t an issue here.)

So I started dumping everything on the pile: branches, pond algae, fruits and veggies from the kitchen. The yard is a little small for a nice three-bin system, so there’s just one pile wedged between the Siberian elm and the arborvitae. I didn’t really touch the pile, because, well, it was a little scary! Lord only knows what was living in there…although when I did dig it out on rare occasions, there was some nice compost at the bottom. My non-country roots show when confronted with a pile of organic stuff that’s bigger than me.
I finally tackled the pile yesterday, and decided that the branches are going to have to be mulched by the village rather that decaying ever-so-slowly in the pile. There’s just not enough room for both the branches (with a Siberian elm and an American linden, there are lots of branches) and the fruit & vegetable waste from the house. So now the pile is small and tidy and turnable and no longer up against a wood fence, and I have two bags of branches for the village. I think I’ll be able to use some of the branches for a twig fence for the side yard, but I’m going to have to admit defeat for the rest.


One response to this post.

  1. […] I finally dug it out, and there was precious little that had composted down enough to use.  While I banned sticks from my compost pile a while ago, there were a lot of stems and potatoes and other relatively hard objects that survived a year in […]


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