When The Scientist and I went down to pick up the compost bin and rain barrel from the city depot a couple of months ago, we got the rain barrel but they were out of compost bins. I had my name added to the wait list, but in the meantime the next door neighbour Rob offered us his old one.
The Scientist wasn’t too keen at first, because the holes aren’t big enough (he did his research). That and it was a little beat up. But, it has a Ministry of Environment stamp on it and it was re-used and free — which meets my criteria — so I am pretty certain it couldn’t be all bad. Besides, a little duct tape and a 6″ layer of cow poo and we’re in business!
I suspect there will be a new, shiny one set up next to it by my next visit, though.
I know it sounds a bit gross, but it is possible to worm compost in an apartment. I, like my co-contributor, wasn’t a big fan of doing it under the kitchen sink, but with the right equipment I was able to do it all year. Outdoors on my balcony over half the year, and indoors downstairs in my storage locker for the winter. And no one was the wiser.
Here’s how it’s done:
The only issue I had at one point was an abundance of fruit flies, but I made quick work of them with a fruit juice and dish soap mix, and by keeping the top layer of shredded paper dry. The liquid trap works wonders and regularly replacing soggy shredded paper with new, keeps the flies from laying fresh eggs.
Now that I have access to an outdoor compost bin, I passed my condo-size bin along to a friend who is using it to teach her kindergarten students all about composting. In fact, they used their compost in a recent Mothers’ Day sprouted beans project. Aside from most kids being scared to touch the worms (I thought that’s what being a kid was all about?!) the project has been a big hit.
Hey, I’m not exactly Ms. Granola, but I’ve decided to take the leap anyway (wearing gloves at all times – let’s not kid ourselves).
Heaven forbid, I break a nail!
In keeping with my “let’s try eating more local food” I’m giving urban gardening a shot and am pretty excited about it. Pretty much completely in the dark, but excited none the less!
My goal is to be as environmentally friendly as possible (i.e. organic pest solutions and reclaimed materials) and as cheap as possible – if we want everyone to do it, it can’t break the bank. I’m asking you, my friends, for help with tips, materials, insight, and encouragement in the process.
What I’ve identified so far as stuff I need to do/use:
Ideas for a seed starter tray – I want to get creative in putting one together (I’d use old milk cartons, but I don’t drink milk) or find a used one
Compost bin – picking it up from the city transfer depot next weekend
Rain barrel – ditto
Soil test kit – anyone done this before?
Advice on where to borrow or cheaply rent a rotatiller
Recommended reading for when/what to plant in this climate
Materials to border the garden – I’m doing in-ground rather than raised bed and would like a border, i.e. reclaimed wood or maybe old bricks
Free/cheap used canning stuff – I’ll be scouring spring lawn sales for jars and lids, canners, etc. suggestions and donations welcome
Info on good recipes, how-to resources, companion planting info, etc. also welcome!
I’ll keep you posted on the play-by-play, which should be interesting. (Blind leading the blind?) First step is to see if the soil is any good or whether we’ll be trucking in a load…