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Hey Everybody! I’ve been making more of a commitment to eating raw fruits and veggies; which means more stumps and peels piling up in the garbage. Instead of throwing what I don’t eat away, I’d like to start a small kitchen compost, and add the …dirt, I guess, to my plants as potting soil. I’m not sure the best way to go about this, and would love any insight and experience.

Thank you!


  • Hmmm, depends on what kind of space you have, do you want to spend a lot or a little money and how much time you have. I checked it out and last year created my own composter. It’s a plastic garbage can with holes drilled on the bottom and sides and top, (I used a drill) you have to do equal parts brown and greens, keep it wet (damp really, you have to water it in dry times) and turn it all over at least once weekly, (which is nice with the lid because I basically roll it on it’s side and roll it over). OR you can purchase a premade composter for between 50 to 150 dollars. There is also worm composting, with blood worms, it’s all soooo super cool (but I’m a dork). I keep a small covered bucket under my sink (the lid keeps the fruit flies out) to keep my scraps from the kitchen. I empty it when it’s full. Then I mix in the grass cutings and leaves as my other parts. It’s so much to learn, and I really just touched the tip of it all. Hope that helps!

  • The garbage can is a great idea. I have two piles in the backyard for two different compost heaps. One is curing, while the other I keep throwing stuff in. Here’s a general rule:
    1/3 greens like grass clippings, hay, straw
    1/3 soil (I keep bags by the pile to add as I go)
    1/3 food scraps (never throw meat or dairy into the pile)

    If doing a pile, make it so there’s an indent in the center so water can collect and not run off the pile.

    It’s best if it receives sun so it can “cook”. The pile will heat up to a very high temp if you have the right mixture to cook out all the bad stuff.

    Good luck!

  • amysueamysue Raw Newbie

    Hey venti, I have a composter from Gardeners Supply Company. It’s very clever – you throw stuff in the top and eventually the finished compost comes out the bottom so there’s no turning. They are about $100 for that type, but I needed a time saver and it has lasted years. They have other types that are less expensive (the garbage can sounds great!). I have LOTS more food scraps being raw so I use a big old diaper pail in the kitchen with a lid and I also throw in paper tissues and paper towels (I use recycled brands so I don’t worry about contaminants) and that seems to help it break down faster.

  • thanks! this is helpful.

  • RawVoiceRawVoice Raw Newbie

    rawleen, Why do you discourage putting meat into the pile. My husband is not a vegan or raw foodist, so sometimes I have meat scraps. In nature, animals die and rot into the soil. They are composted. In fact blood meal and bone meal are often used to enrich soil. Why do you feel it’s not a good thing to use meat in the compost?

  • MeditatingMeditating Raw Newbie

    I have two composts in my backyard too. I keep a little 3 fingered trowell nearby so when I have to put something in there I scoop out a hole first and put the food in there and then cover it. this helps keep down gnats and flies.

    I am not a big meat eater but I may eat up to 12 ounces a week. I always throw my meat scraps in my compost.

    I have a long kitchen counter that ends near my back door. That end is the recycling center,” where I put bottles after they ahve been washed so they can be carried otu back to the recylcing bins. I also keep an empty 1 lb. spinach clam shell there to put all my organics in when I juice, whatever. I snap hte lid on to keep odor down and empty it every other day or so.

  • I think they say not to add meat because stray animals will rummage your pile for it.

  • WinonaWinona Raw Newbie

    I’m wondering about composting too. How quickly do things compost? Also, I live in an apartment. I want something easy to sue. Amysue – is your composter good for folks living in apartments? Can it handle all the food scraps? How long does it take to process into compost? Here’s a brief how to guide: http://www.gardeners.com/Composting%20Made%20Ea…

  • we have two composters in the backyard for the lawn and plants, and we do not put fats or animal products in it.

    however, our city has a composting program. garbage gets picked up every two weeks, and composting and recycling every week. we can put any food scraps (including meat, bones, etc), coffee grounds, tissues and diapers (or bags of doggy poop in our case) into green bins in bags and they get picked up once a week. i think it’s a great system…we barely have any garbage anymore.

  • I live in an apartment and I am looking to compost, too. My environmentalist friends have what they call the Kompost Pig in their kitchen. It’s an old milk jug that they throw compostables into so they don’t fill up landfills with unnecessary trash. When the piggy gets full, they just toss it into the bushes outside the apartment. I think I’ll do that since I’m not really looking to compost for fertilizer, just for less landfill trash. I like that they made the piggy out of a milk jug, too! And that it’s got a piggy nose drawn on it along with it’s title “Kompost Pig.”

  • lzhptlzhpt Raw Newbie

    Here’s what I do—no expert at all. I have a little green bucket that I got from amazon that has a charcoal filter—I keep that under my sink. In the backyard I have a rotating drum composter. I mix brown-carbon(leaves, sticks, sawdust) with green-nitrogen (raw fruit and veggie scraps, grass clippings. It kind of all bakes in the composter and it’s on whells so I spinn it weekly—and I have new soil in about 30-60 days. I just planted my container herbs and container tomatoes, jalapenos yesterday using some leaves on the bottom of the planter—the nasty mucky wet stuff that came out of the composter and some organic potting soil. I fed them with fish emulsion and we’ll see what happens. I found a great website last night, but has forgotton—I thought my compost was much too wet and smelly and it was. I need to add more brown—leaves and twigs.

  • MeditatingMeditating Raw Newbie

    LZHPT - Do you recall the name of the 2 composting products you use? That process sounds interesting and I wouls like to read up on it.

  • RawVoiceRawVoice Raw Newbie

    Lately, I’ve been putting my food scraps through the food processor to help speed up the breaking down process. Lately, most of the scraps I have are lemon rinds since I’m on the master cleanse. What do you guys think? Just seems like it takes things an awfully long time to deteriorate.

  • One day we’ll all have worm community centers in our communties. I’d love to be able to afford one of the worm towers used for composting.

  • Meat and dairy cheese attracts RATS

  • I am definitely not the expert on composting, and the way I do it is not very exciting, but has worked fine for the last 2+ years since it was started. I use a Pampered Chef batter bowl next to my kitchen sink to collect scraps. I like it b/c it is large, has a handle, is glass (easy to clean), and has a lid (which I rarely use). When it is full (several times a day, now that I am raw!), I walk to the back of the yard (we have a large, densely wooded lot) where my compost pile is. All this consists of is several large metal fence stakes w/ metal fencing, in a circle. It has worked fine. Twice a year or so, I will unhook the fencing and turn the pile with a shovel. It is beautiful, rich mulch. I do not put meat or dairy in my compost, but just about everything else, including old clothes (that aren’t good enough for Goodwill) and cleaning rags and cardboard that the recycling center won’t take, etc. I know there are lots of more advanced ways to compost. But personally, if space isn’t an issue, I would keep it as simple as possible. :)

  • lzhptlzhpt Raw Newbie

    Sorry it took so long—4got to watch the post—You want the Gaiam compost bucket-large from Amazon. The Envirocycle Compost Tubler-green available from Backyaerd gardener—a good suggestion you can even make your own barrel.

  • You guys rock!

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