The compost experience. Continued…

It is exactly two months or 60 days to be precise since I began composting at home using the Khamba. Why am I writing this down? Maybe it will keep me going!  Maybe it may give somebody who hasn’t considered it yet, an up close picture of how possible and rewarding an endeavor it is?

The most exciting news is that it is happening! 🙂

The containers with the semi composted stuff....

It was a pleasant sense of wonder to inhale in the smell of the forest from my first semi-composted pile. It swung from there to times of exasperating concern too, concerns over the pile not getting hot or the piles not reducing fast enough. Times of too much carbon, too less carbon! Thankfully, those exasperating times are few and far between now! Some lessons have been learnt.

The maggots that I was dreading about initially began appearing a few weeks back and since the last few days I’ve also been sweeping up the few that hide under the bag of leaves in the balcony and have been throwing them under the tree. These are black maggots. I see them more in numbers in the containers holding the already blackened semi-composted (where the kitchen waste has completely disappeared and everything looks broken down and diminished in size and lighter in weight) waste. The soldier flies began to show up in the last few days in the bottommost pile. The maggot pupates into black soldier flies. The Black Soldier Fly (BSF) is apparently one of the most important creatures for the environment – Earth’s relentless recycle workers.

Every bit of kitchen waste and left over food waste has been going into it (Only vegetarian stuff and no dairy products)!  It feels like living a bit closer to Nature.  And to think that composting is something that is always happening all around us,  a process Earth does on its own, taking months and years converting everything back to soil and continuing over hundreds of years and ending up in a product like petroleum!

At most a faint whiff of smell is what you get when you go close or when there is a breeze, that too only at times. Aerobic piles like this one are not supposed to smell at all.

I think I spend around 5minutes with it daily and maybe 10minutes on alternate days or once in three days when I stir all the piles up. I give them a good stirring quite frequently, most often earlier than the three day recommended period.

Here are a few pictures…

Another look at the semi composted stuff.... 🙂

The bag of dried leaves in the balcony....

That's the black soldier fly...

The many bags of leaves I hoarded in February! Guess these will last me much longer than I assumed. High carbon!!

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2 comments

  1. Nomad · April 13, 2012

    a big yay for you… we do it too… or let me correct that – Ashwin does the composting… earthworms and me – do not work together 🙂

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