Poop Pile: Working With Compost
For the longest time, I felt guilty that I didn’t have a compost pile. I thought it was a lot of work and a stinky mess.
While I’m always looking for ways to live closer to the land, I also need to live simply. I thought composting would be rather complicated and require some specific gadgets. But once we had a steady supply of fresh chicken poop, I figured I owed it to myself, my plants and my planet to give it a try.
And guess what? It’s been super-easy, with no odor that I’ve noticed!
Here are the steps I took for a simple compost pile:
- I bought a container for indoor compost. It’s a simple plastic storage container with a handle on the lid. (I thought that would make it easier to carry outside to the compost pile, but I usually take the lid off and just carry out the container.)
2. I personally have not saved scraps from our plates, although I’m sure that would work . I save waste from fruit and veggies as I chop (but not meat or dairy scraps). I keep the scraps inside for a day or two max.
3. The compost pile has brown matter (leaves) and green matter (grass clippings). I keep it in the corner of our yard, near the sweet potato patch. I don’t have a fence around it. I just keep it in a semi-neat pile with my shovel.
4. When I’m ready to add to the compost pile, I use a shovel (pitchforks are rather expensive!!) and dig a small hole. Into the hole, I add the fruit or veggie scraps from my indoor container or a bucket of chicken poop from our chicken coop (which I add to daily and dump about once every week or two). Don’t use cat or dog poop!
5. I cover the new scraps with brown or green material. ***This is an important step. It’s what keeps the pile from stinking or attracting bugs/rodents.***
6. It’s rainy season in Florida, so I never water my compost pile. When we have a dry spell, I’ll probably water it with the hose once in a while.
7. Infrequently, whenever it occurs to me (probably once a month or so, maybe less often), I use the shovel to “stir” the pile around a bit.
And that’s it! Once the compost inside the pile is black and shiny, it’s ready to use on plants! Nice and simple!!
I realize that there are a few requirements for my style of composting: a yard, plants to use the compost in, chickens to produce the poop. And I’m sure there are many other methods and styles of composting.
What’s your poop pile style??
Have you thought of letting your chickens have first choice of the scraps? Mine devour most everything and whatever gets left is pre-inocculated with chicken poop!
That’s a great idea. I need to get into the habit of doing that because when I have occasionally, they love it. Is there anything you don’t feed your chickens? (I’m guessing meat and dairy)
Mine get everything except chicken, my wife gives her parrots chicken bones to knaw on but it just doesn’t seem right to me so I don’t do it. I had read a lot of stuff about giving them meat and dairy but was still a bit skeptical, then I found a piece of pork butt (cooked) that had been in the back of the fridge, they went crazy. Now they “pre-process” all of our kitchen scraps into “compost energizer” as I’m sure you’ve noticed their poo will really get a pile goin quick.
Thank you for this simple approach. Other things I’ve read have made it sound so complicated that I haven’t tried yet. I’ll give your method a go.
Keep me posted on how it works for you. I’ve noticed lately that the chickens get into it a little when they’re free ranging in the yard. I don’t really mind, other than I wonder if they would eat their own poop and then contaminate the eggs? Yuck! So I may think of a simple little barrier to go around it. Other than that, it’s been working great! I love that it’s easy, no bugs, no rodents, no smells.
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