Monday, 9 May 2011

Getting your hands dirty

I was telling DH recently that I had been talking to my mum about composting. "What interesting chats you have with your mum!" replied DH and yes, he's got a point, not the most riveting topic of conversation.  But my previous composting attempts have always failed and I've either ended up with a sludgy  heap or a heap that never seems to rot down and turn into compost.  Anyway, now that we have moved the compost bins and made them more accessible I am determined to get my composting right.  How hard can it be?!  

It's funny that when your attention turns to something new you suddenly notice lots of things written about it!  So I read with interest our local council's leaflet on composting and what can go in your bin - I didn't realise you could put in the contents of your vacuum cleaner or kitchen towels - well there's a thing!  Then I looked online and found this great site which basically showed me where I was going wrong; I was getting the mix wrong - it's all in the mix apparently.  So too much green stuff and you get a sludgy mess and too much brown stuff (ie leaves, branches etc) and the thing doesn't rot.  So a mix of green and brown, ah sounds easy!  The brown stuff can also be egg boxes, ripped up cardboard or scrunched up paper.  So I've also found a way of getting rid of our confidential paperwork too - scrunch it up and pop it in the compost bin!  I'm not sure yet if I'm getting my mix right, every time we put in grass clippings or kitchen waste I now add in some paper or cardboard for good measure - only time will tell!

So back to my chat with mum.  I was telling her all this and she said "Oh you don't want to put in grass clippings they never rot down".  Great - we've nearly filled our bin with grass clippings - but what to do with them? My question was answered this weekend by the gardening goddess Alys Fowler - who said use grass clippings to mulch your potatoes - yes got lots of them - and courgettes - yes got lots of them too!  Hurray, it looks like it's all coming together!

But it made me think about gardening.  Alys also said in her article that gardening was a great leveller and she is right.  Some people think they just don't know anything about gardening or don't know where to start and I guess I felt a little like that when we moved here and was faced with a big garden where before I just had pots on terraces - although I did managed to grow some veg in grow bags on our roof once when we lived in a top floor flat!  But for gardening like other things I think you just have to jump in and have a go and before long you end up talking about compost and being really interested in other peoples views on it!

Anyway, I realise there have been lots of gardening posts recently and not many crafty posts.  Don't worry my last post did the trick and spurred me into action and now my lovely red knitting just needs a bit of blocking before I can show you.  I'm just gearing up for my next project which I'm really really excited about!

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