As an organic gardener, I’ve read more tributes to the healing power of compost than a person should in a lifetime. Compost heals the soil! It keeps valuable, soil-building material out of the landfill! A compost pile that is so hot that it steams is virtuous and sexy.
While I know that all of this is true, I had a dirty secret. I hated to take scraps out to my compost pile, especially after the sun had set. It meant walking to the back corner of my garden, where I imagined snakes frollicking by moonlight.
One day, my friend Shiner saw me throwing cantalope rinds into the trash. A gardener herself, she was shocked. I explained why I didn’t want to take it outside right then and I didn’t want to refrigerate it. As is so often the case, Shiner had a great answer: start a compost bucket.
Wildly Affordable Organic container 5: keep a compost bucket handy to boost your organic garden
Since Shiner gave me that wake-up call, I tried various compost buckets. Recently, I hit about the best one yet: a three-gallon step trash can with a removable plastic liner. During big cooking days, I put the liner right on the counter and toss in scraps as I go. The rest of the time, I just step on the lever to pop up the lid and toss in used tea bags, banana peels, and other scraps, like the ends of the asparagus in my Asparagus Socca recipe.
Every few mornings, I walk the bucket of scraps out to the compost heap, empty it, wash it out, and put it back into the trash can. And yes, having a hot compost heap again makes me feel a little virtuous and sexy.
Do you keep a compost pile? Maybe you’re way ahead of me and keep a worm bin or chickens. Share your tips for making good use of scraps in the comments below.