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Friday, April 8, 2011

Black Gold

Over the last 3 years that we have lived in this place, we have added almost 70+ cubic yards of compost into the predominantly clayey soil (I would rather call it debris).

A big chunk of it went to the backyard when we closed the pool and started our raised vegetable planter beds.

 Our bulk compost supplier has been Mountain View garden center. We have had them deliver a full truckload of compost on more than one occasion. We recently ordered a truckload (about 10 cubic yards) to add to our planter beds for this growing season and also to mix into the massive concrete retaining wall that we finished and the herb planter bed that we are building right now.

One of the nice things about living in an eco-friendly place like the bay area is the composting program that many cities offer. Ours is no different and therefore when we do not have a big project going on, we pick up free compost from the Sunnyvale SMaRT station for our regular needs.

Now that we are close to a steady state situation, we have been contemplating setting up our own composter at home, and maybe even a worm bin!!!! Vermicomposting would be all left to Guru!

Our home composting enclosure is all set to go. Hopefully we will finish installing it this weekend.

I put in the exclamation because my approach to gardening has a sense of dichotomy. While on the one hand I love digging around in the garden, tending to my plants, pulling out weeds for stress relaxation, on the other I have an unfounded, unbiased distaste for all things slimy. Though it may be justified for those slugs and snails, unfortunately my hate does not differentiate our best garden friend, the earthworm. Yes, I have to accept that I am a worm hater :( I wish there was a class to overcome this.

We have always segregated our degradable trash from the kitchen. Our local Costco in northern California has been carrying compostable trash bags for a while now. Even my parents in India have begun using these Biobags and add it to their compost pit that is in the yard.

I usually have my BioBag set up on my kitchen counter lining a plastic bowl. The biggest flip side is the fact that it attracts fruit flies very easily. On a recent trip to Marshalls I found a steel pail composter that was big enough to hold a decent amount of kitchen scraps, had a lid, looked nice and cost me only $14. The lid was perforated to allow the trash to breathe and not start decaying at the same time, the lid was fitted with a carbon filter to take out the bad odors. And the Biobag ensures easy cleanup and disposal (considering our diet is all vegetarian and we fill up our container in about 2-3 days).

Good find eh !......retail therapy rocks


  1. I am a Master Gardener, and I teach composting classes over here on the East Coast. Our program offers the Earth Machine compost bins for only $25 as an incentive to take the class and start composting. So, I have an Earth Machine, and I have the metal kitchen compost bin with the bio-bags. As I was looking at your photos, it was almost like seeing things at my house. :)

  2. :) Thank you for sharing your thoughts. We are very much fledgling gardeners/ composters trying to do the right thing. We got our Earth machine from our local county office which offered it at $40. As i type this...we are setting it up