Tag Archives: soil and additives

Easy, Lazy, No Turn* Compost

For a while now, artisan, no-knead bread has been popular among foodie-types, myself included.  I particularly like the “even lazier” version of no-knead bread, which minimizes mess and hands-on time.  Last week while I was whipping up a batch of no-knead sandwich bread, it dawned on me that my version of making compost is just about the same: minimal fuss, minimal tools, basic ingredients, heat and time.

So, without wasting more valuable time, here’s a step by step guide to Easy, Lazy, No Turn* Compost:

1.  Keep a container for scraps handy in your kitchen.  There are all kinds and I have this fancy one with a filter, but I prefer to use these plastic berry picking buckets.  Each season I get a few new ones & recycle the old yucky ones.  I keep my bucket on the sink & everyone know to toss food scraps in there.

bucket on counter

2. Empty your bucket regularly.  If you are too lazy, it starts to smell … and attract fruit flies and ants… Yuck.  We typically fill a bucket every day or two & take it out to this compost pile.  The “active” compost pile is where I pile the daily scraps.  (Note: We’ll spread the remaining aged compost in a few weeks over my fall veggie bed when my plants are more established.)

compost pile fall 10.4.13

3.  Dig a shallow hole in your active compost pile.  We keep a pitchfork at the ready beside the pile so that this takes just a moment.  It’s kind of hard to see, but here is a close-up of what the pile looks with the hole prepped:

compost pile hole 10.4.13

4.  Add your kitchen scraps to the hole.  Colorful!  The discerning eye might spot two paper towels.  We don’t use many of them, preferring cloth dish towels & fabric napkins, BUT I do line every bucket with a half sheet of paper towel, otherwise clean-up can be gross.  Decomposition starts immediately, even in the bucket.

compost in pile 10.4.13

5.  Cover scraps with lawn waste.  Using your pitchfork, completely cover the scraps with grass clippings, brown leaves, etc.  My son had just cut the lawn & leaves were falling, so this is a nice blend of clippings and chopped leaves.

coompost pile covered 10.4.13

5.  Repeat the process every few days.  The more kitchen scraps you add, the more compost you will have at the end of the season.  I’ve mentioned this before, but organic in, means organic out.  If you eat mostly organic, non-gmo produce and don’t use chemicals on your lawn, you’ll be producing rich compost for a fraction of the cost you can buy.  WITH PRACTICALLY NO EFFORT ON YOUR PART.

compost fall closeup 9.16.13

6.  So, walk away and let nature work!  Rain, sunshine, heat and cold, lots of naturally occurring bugs and microorganisms work to decompose your potato skins, banana peels, and coffee grinds into black compost gold.  You can put that back into your veggie beds, annual or perennial beds, or even around your trees and shrubs for happy, healthy plants.

* No-Turn … every compost pile requires some turning to mix the rotting scraps and the fresh additions.  We turn the entire pile two or three times during a six-month season.  Sometimes more, sometimes less.  Mix more if you want to speed up the compost process.  Mix less if you are satisfied with a a six-month process.

Happy composting!

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Posted by on October 7, 2013 in Compost How To, Gardening


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Almond Beets & Roasted Figs

Two of my favorite things in the world are beets and figs and this bucket has both.  Now, I’ve never had them together, but they are the ingredients in two killer recipes, one of which I can share.  But first, the bucket …


What you can see (clockwise from left to right):

  • Eggshells
  • Tops of brown turkey figs
  • Peel from red beets
  • Basil flower & tip
  • Orange peel & leftover orange section
  • Rosemary sticks (minus leaves)

What I made with all of that:


  • Almond Beet cookies (I am also the baker behind Cookie Underground.)
  • Bacon Wrapped Roasted Figs (I’ve made these many times and here is my recipe tweak: To make these more bite size, I cut the figs in half, put the honey dipped rosemary sprigs on the cut side, wrapped in a half piece of good bacon, & baked at 325 for 30 minutes.  Run under broiler for a minute if bacon is not crisped to perfection.  Don’t skip the orange balsamic glaze!  The recipe is too sweet without the acidity of the vinegar – but I skip the oil.)  Even fig skeptics enjoyed these!
  • Soft-boiled eggs & oranges for breakfast

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Pretty Dirty Work

Welcome!  Doesn’t it makes sense that if you are obsessed with food you love it all, down to the banana peels & onion skins & lettuce scraps?  Well, I am obsessed and I do love it all.  So much so, that I find the bits & pieces in my kitchen compost bucket to be not just an interesting visual diary of what my family ate, but also a pretty play on colors and textures.  In fact, sometimes the countertop pail is nearly as colorful as … my dinner plate … or the bunch of roses I just picked from the garden.  So, after months of admiring the changing bucket art, I started taking pictures …ImageAnd see?  Interesting, isn’t it?  Kind of a fun and different way to look at food.

My Daily Compost will be the spot where I can share my day-to-day photo diary, the occasional recipe based on what’s in the bucket, food & garden musings, and some basic dirt on how to do the whole compost thing yourself.

Here’s to thinking outside the (compost) box!

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Posted by on May 13, 2013 in Welcome!


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