Composting isn’t a load of rubbish
From the time we bought our first home, we’ve had a compost bin and I’m always surprised by how many people harbour misconceptions about them.
Regular readers of this column will know that while I enjoy gardening and a bit of DIY, I’m an expert in neither.
But that compost bin has been one of the best and most productive parts of our garden, not just absorbing a lot of organic waste from the kitchen and garden but turning it into nutrient rich compost to spread over the garden.
And it’s been ridiculously easy to maintain.
Over the years, friends have turned up their noses on the grounds that compost bins smell. Even at the height of summer in a courtyard garden not much bigger than a postage stamp, that bin did not give off an odour until I was standing right next to it.
The same goes for questions about rats and mice. As long as we keep a lid on it, insects, spiders and worms are the only inhabitants.
If the lid slips off, the worst bin raiding offenders in our (now) larger backyard tend to be the chooks, especially if they see you’ve made a recent delivery.
And with the insects comes one of my favourite visitors to the garden to feed on them — a chatty willie wagtail.
So accustomed am I to having a compost bin that I really miss it when we rent a holiday house. The kitchen bin tends to fill a lot faster and if you leave it for a day or two, it begins to smell as the organic matter starts to break down.
I can’t imagine it’s much fun for the garbage collectors either.
With households estimated to waste about $3500 of food a year, it’s a small consolation that we’re at least starting the process again by turning our scraps into compost.
And it’s a whole lot sweeter for the garbage collectors too.