Compost Recipe

Now that we have a DIY compost bin that cost us $15 and about a half hour of our lives, largepuppy and I need to start cooking. After we combine the right ingredients, mix them together and layer them like a cake, sprinkle the goods with a bit of love (and water), and put the whole mess into the oven to cook, we should have some delicious “black gold” to call our own. Wealthy in a whole other sense of the word.

Ooey Gooey Crispy Damp Paper Food Scrap Compost Recipe
yield: cooks down to about half the starting material

Browns, divided:
1 large bag of dry fall leaves, preferably chopped or minced
A weeks worth of junk mail, shredded into strips**
5 cardboard containers, torn
Leftover paper napkins from last night’s takeout
A few twigs and branches
Sticks to taste
Sawdust (who has that lying around?)
Hay or straw (again, who has that lying around??)

5 coffee filters + grounds
4 banana peels
8 eggshells, rinsed to prevent rats
Onion scraps, potato peels, old celery, carrot tops, chopped into small pieces
An apple core or two
Pinch of green yard waste, weeds, or grass clippings
Manure from the imaginary farm animals in your backyard
Seaweed, from the sea

**There are differing views about whether or not to compost junk mail and newspaper because of the dyes and chemicals in the paper. I don’t have very much material to work with so I’m going with what I have. Less to send to the recycling center and hopefully more compost for me!

Prepare compost bin by punching holes in the container or dig a hole in the ground (see How to Make a Compost Bin Out of a Trash Can for reference.) Collect browns (carbon-rich) and greens (nitrogen-rich) materials in a ratio of 3:1 browns to greens. Put down half of the browns and give it a little sprinkle of water to slightly moisten the dry cardboard, then add the greens, followed by the rest of the browns. Give the layer cake another sprinkle of water as icing and cover the whole mess with the lid of your bin or the soil you dug up from the hole (this is your oven.)

Give the whole thing a roll to aerate and mix all the goodies together. Add more browns and greens and roll around every once in a while to cook. Compost will be ready in about 3 months. Enjoy!


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