Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Ten Food Rules: Rule One: "do not waste anything."

Ideally, you'll cook everything you buy or grow. Some things, though, are not edible or digestible.

This is a composter, a wire cage set up in the middle of the garden to collect my kitchen and garden waste.  Everything that is not eaten, everything green or brown, with the exception of meat and dairy products, everything goes in here.  No need to turn it over, pile it this way or that. Just dump, keep damp and keep rodents and birds out.  I do attempt to keep birds out with a scarecrow kind of structure.  The best deterrent for bird guard, is a dog.

This area  will probably be filled by November, when the onions, the squash, the garlic will be trimmed of the extra greens before coming into the kitchen.

This design comes from the Oregon Garden, in Salem, a demonstration garden.  It is simple, elegant and can sit here for the eighteen months it will take for the refuse to turn to compost.  I don't even have to move the compost at all.  I remove the cage, dismantle it and move it to another spot where I want to start growing stuff.  Whatever didn't fully compost, will disintegrate, and with just a little digging, I can plant my first row of vegetables right on top.  In this way, I grow my own soil as well as my own veggies.

I provide a drip watering system, a nozzle coming into the compost pile keeping it slightly moist, ensuring that chemical changes can takes place. 

One of my food rules, recycle and remake waste into a useful product.


  1. Great info.

  2. Great post! I was composting in the seventies, when I lived in a hippie commune! We had a 10 acre organic garden and it was awesome! And also, when I lived in Maryland and had a big enough yard for a garden and compost pile.

  3. What an easy idea. right now I just have a pile. Half of it I take dirt out of and the other half gets the goods. Then, I switch. Move the uncomposted stuff into the trench from digging and start digging on the composted side. Back and forth. I need to start my fall garden but it is still just so hot. Maybe this weekend.

  4. I like that idea...easy, and effective....thanks for that....

  5. I love composting! We recently got a tumbling composter to speed up the process, which I love...4 or so weeks and we have a small batch. I can't wait to get our first garden on this property in next spring..for this year I've been contenting myself with putting in some perennial herbs.