Fall is a perfect time to take advantage of nature’s gifts and start your next batch of compost. Most of us have gazillions of leaves… and need the “green” component. I have discovered that begging used Halloween and Fall decorative pumpkins to add to your compost bin speeds the compost process immeasurably. Neighbors and friends are happy to donate used pumpkins (I provide pick up service…see below) to keep them out of our local landfill.
Simply stab the whole ones a few times with a pitchfork to promote decay, insert in your compost pile, and voila….lovely black gold compost by late summer. It helps to water the leaves you as you pile them in, and of course your compost pile is a lovely place to discard all vegetable and fruit kitchen scraps all year long. (no meat, dairy or sugar to attract critters!) I prefer to keep a strong stick around to bury my daily scrap contribution under the leaves.
I often get questions about the pile attracting rodents but have never seen much evidence of that. It doesn’t smell, and when I get inspired to dig around in there and “turn” it to move the more decayed matter up at the bottom up to the top to speed the process, I find lots of worms and insects in there doing all of the work for me. If it’s too dry, the only thing I do is water it occasionally.
I have also discovered that I have to share the pumpkins in my neighborhood with my neighbors who keep chickens…apparently chickens love to eat pumpkins too. Happy to share…and keeping pumpkins out of the landfill in any fashion is a worthy goal. From what I understand, pumpkins are native to central America and Mexico which works with my overall garden theme of a native wonderland!
My hero, the Compost King of NYC, taking composting to a city wide scale with anaerobic digestion, which will ultimately produce bio-gas. Read more from The New York Times Magazine…