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What to do with kitchen scraps?


 
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irishfairy
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2011 11:09 pm    Post subject: What to do with kitchen scraps? Reply with quote

So while I was in the kitchen earlier, thinking about growing my own veg on the balcony I saw all the potato peelings (potatoes from boyfriend's father's garden, yum) and carrot peelings and I was wondering, if I can do something with that as well? Like a small compost bin on the balcony? Does that make sense or would it be more unpleasant than effective?
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walltoall
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2011 11:30 pm    Post subject: What to do with kitchen scraps? irish fairy Reply with quote

If you use only uncooked vegetable parts and cuttings, you can make compost. It will not smell unless allowed to ferment or rot. This will not happen if the container is out on the balcony. Add handfuls of 'soil' from time to time to cover up the cuttings. The 'soil' CAN be potting compost from a garden centre or soil dug up with a trowel in the countryside and brought home in a a tupperware container. If you have a paper shredder add the contents in small amounts regularly. It takes up to 12mts to make 'compost' if you are adding to the collection all the time. But you will then have a perfect growing medium for your 'garden'. I have three or four compost containers going all the time in my garden and over the years have made compost in small buckets, large barrels, refuse bins. Go for it. We're all here to help each other.
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irishfairy
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2011 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That sounds great. Yes, I was only thinking uncooked bits like peel, stuff I dropped on the floor etc. What about egg shell? I remember my grandad putting them into the compost as well.
And no cooked things like leftover veg?
So a plastic bucket or something like that would work just fine?
Thanks for the advice!
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forest flame
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

just crush the egg shells as they are slow to decompose also tea bags are great
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irishfairy
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just thinking, I have pet mice and for some of them I use hemp bedding, for others I use "Carefresh", it says on their website it's biodegradable. So that should be fine in compost as well? How about the hemp?

I remember my grandad's compost always having loads of worms in it, do I need to add that? Or just the soil?
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walltoall
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 12:14 am    Post subject: What to do with kitchen scraps? irish fairy Reply with quote

hemp is basically a grassy fibre. Although slow to decompose, it will provide bulk to compost and would be very beneficial in opening up the compost as will egg-shells and tea-bags as suggested by "Forest Flame". I have no experience of Carefresh but bio-degradeable is another way of saying "compostable".

BTW, our esteemed leader, James has given you some excellent links to the allotment site which are essential reading. They also have a tie-in with compost and special soils for your project and conditions.

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irishfairy
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This starts sounding like I'm gonna want to convert my balcony into a compost......
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walltoall
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:14 pm    Post subject: What to do with kitchen scraps? irish fairy Reply with quote

Relax IrishFairy, compost making can be done in as little space as a paper shredder; it depends on how much raw material either you have or want to use. You get animal bedding from a mouse. I get stable manure from a horse. What's the difference? I'm a house husband cooking daily for three/four large hungry hominoids. I generate about half a bucket of waste a day most days, much of it from stuff I grow in last year's waste.

You don't have to make compost at all unless you want to, but you have raw material coming out of your kitchen. And well done, all too many young people can't even cook. You can! and you generate vegetable waste! So you can pay the council to shift it, you can flush it down the toilet, or liquify it through a shredder built into your kitchen sink. OR you can make compost from it and grow food in it on your balcony free or almost. We're all rooting for you here lol

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irishfairy
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yay Smile I was joking anyway but I have an awful lot of animal bedding (10 mice, not just one Very Happy) from four big cages and I would LOVE to compost it all. My mom is big into recycling so that's where I picked it all up. So I just wanna do my best and the most I can do.
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walltoall
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm only joking too well in part. I get my manure from a 10 horse stable. I'm following you on twitter. "fallagofalla" is irish for "walltoall" jokingingly.
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irishfairy
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also wondering: Does the container need to be of a certain material or can I just use a cardboard box for now? I don't have an income for another month so I prefer not to spend any money at all until then... Would a cardboard box rot as well?
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walltoall
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 11:23 am    Post subject: What to do with kitchen scraps? irish fairy Reply with quote

A cardboard box is not a suitable container for kitchen scraps. It softens when wet. Cardboard itself is a fine additive to compost though. As a purely temporary measure I'd suggest a plasticy canvasy shopping bag from ASDA, LIDL etc. for carrying home the shopping. Almost every house nowadays has more than one of them. A layer of litter and/or shredded paper at the bottom first, then pitch your peelings and litter etc. til the bag is four-fifths full. On the top put the contents of a "TomBag" to fill. From then on EVERY DAY, spill a tea-cup of water over the top and in 6mts you will have a ready made bag half full of compost in which you can probably grow stuff directly. You can buy little bags of wiggly worms to add to the mix to accelerate the composting. Scour 2nd hand shops boot sales and build a collection of "Expert Gardener" books. Have fun Twisted Evil
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irishfairy
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok silly idea.... But I have tons of those canvas shopping bags as I always go shopping spontaneously and then I need a bag. My boyfriend is starting to give out about the amount of them in the apartment. I can put them to good use now Smile
I googled TomBag but the only thing I found was musical equipment.
Watering I can do well Smile And if it all works in 6 months I have compost at the right time of the year to start with the seeds indoors.
Wiggly worms I know where to get, the pet place where I buy live meal worms for the mice sells them as well.
Thanks for all your help!
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