Thursday, March 24, 2011

What's in your compost?

I have two compost bins. Both can be twirled. One has an opening that slides (top two pictures) and the larger bin has a door that opens with a hinge.

Both bins are full of kitchen leftovers, including egg shells and coffee grounds. The bottom bin also has the remnants of Valentine's Day roses and trimmings from last year's garden.

ToshLeft is a picture of Tosh in 2003 with his Flagstaff winter project compost bin. You can start your own compost bin so you will have organic material each year for your garden. Use a garbage bin, preferably a plastic one. Drill holes along the sides so air can circulate. Add food scraps (no meat or walnut shells), straw, grass clippings, coffee grounds, chicken and pigeon droppings (no dog, cattle or cat waste) to the can and periodically add water and sawdust shavings and do your best to mix it up. Cover with a lid and let it set until it looks and feels like soft loam. In colder climates, this may take almost a year. Don’t add “hot” material to your garden until it is decomposed. Adding chicken waste too soon, for example, will rob your plants of nitrogen as it breaks down.

Fruit and Vegetable Haul

Here is a typical haul from Costco: plums; blueberries to top yogurt and oatmeal; carrots to steam or dip into hummus; strawberries that are my daughter's favorite food; raspberries to put on cereal or to mix into oatmeal; peeled and chopped butternut squash that I really should cut up myself; and my favorite--mangoes.

Soaking Pepper Seeds

I bought a variety of seeds from Pepper Joe's that have to soak over night before planting: hot banana, giant jalapeno, cayenne, pepperoncini, long red slim, tabago seasoning, "peters," mini bells and purple flourescent. Below: A Super San Marzono I planted a week and-a-half ago emerges

Garden Work

Tosh pretends to eat a weed instead of cleaning up the garden. Meanwhile, Josh tills one of the raised beds--not an easy feat since he has to avoid hitting the wooden slats.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Alligator Burn

Every year we allow prairie grasses to grow into a diiferent shape. You can see what our neighbors do with their tall grass (you can barely make out the wooden fence line). Josh and Ari burned our grass and Josh is very proud that the burned area is in the shape of an alligator. Sort of.