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j zairi

Just for the record....I have never tried to compost. It just seems yucky to me. And ME a woman who spends a good amount of time in poop... I desperately would like to produce less garbage. Having 5 kids and 3 adults in a house were its illegal to have a garbage disposable makes for an amount of garbage that is embarrassing. I just feel like it wouldnt be worth the effort of seperating yet another part of my waste into another bin that needs to be cleaned as well. Basically, I think its awesome that YOU compost but I"m going to stick with trying to buy local and having everyone finish all the food on their plates!

Joy @ JoyfullyGreen.com

And you know I think you're all kinds of awesome for doing everything you do! I realize you are a master coordinator--running your house, family, farm, and much of the school, so composting would only add one more task to your crazy list. And you're right, we just can't help what grosses us out!


Sometimes I wish we had an official composter. We do the big heap in the backyard. It's behind a tree but there are times when it looks pretty bad - especially right now as the snow is beginning to melt and all the food scraps from the winter are out in the open. Fortunately we don't have to worry about bears! :)


Back when my dad was alive and gardening, he built two compartment wooden bin for compost. As with most of his carpentry projects, it was, shall we say, stronger in function than form. All the scraps went into it, with a few shovels of horse manure obtained from a local stable and some leaves. One compartment was "active" and the other for aging. I wasn't much interested back then, but I can clearly recollect that the compost that came out of it was superb. The pile was always HOT. In cool evenings you could see the steam rising from the composting material. I think the horse manure was the secret ingredient there, as the manure piles we used to raid were similarly steamy. Things are a bit more rural back then and the garden plot was huge and easily accommodated the big wooden bins.

I haven't seen results like that from our rotating composter, but, then, I haven't used the secret ingredient :)

Joy @ JoyfullyGreen.com

I'm sure your dad was onto a great idea, but I think I'm a bit too squeamish to try his secret ingredient! We can't even go the worm route for composting (mostly due to hubby's squeamishness, but that's another story...), and I've heard raves about worm composting as well!

Joy @ JoyfullyGreen.com

Hi Micaela,
Do you cover your food scrap compost with layers of mulch or dirt? That will help--although you're right that winter really slows things waaaaaaay down in terms of decomposition! We needed to take a composting break from December 'til now due to all of the snow. I'm glad you don't need to fight off the critters in your neck of the woods!

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Green Books for Children

  • Igor Siwanowicz: Animals Up Close

    Igor Siwanowicz: Animals Up Close
    See review under Green Books, 11/12/2012

  • Helen Frost: Step Gently Out

    Helen Frost: Step Gently Out
    For commentary, see "Savoring the Last of Summer" post in Nature & Wildlife.

  • Leo Lionni: Frederick [English Edition]

    Leo Lionni: Frederick [English Edition]
    For commentary, see "Savoring the Last of Summer" post in Nature & Wildlife.

  • Terry Allan Hicks: Why Do Leaves Change Color? (Tell Me Why, Tell Me How)

    Terry Allan Hicks: Why Do Leaves Change Color? (Tell Me Why, Tell Me How)
    For commentary, see "Appreciating Autumn" post in Nature & Wildlife.

  • Betsy Maestro: Why Do Leaves Change Color? (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science, Stage 2)

    Betsy Maestro: Why Do Leaves Change Color? (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science, Stage 2)
    For commentary, see "Appreciating Autumn" post in Nature & Wildlife.

  • Alison Inches: I Can Save the Earth!: One Little Monster Learns to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle (Little Green Books)

    Alison Inches: I Can Save the Earth!: One Little Monster Learns to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle (Little Green Books)
    "One little monster learns to reduce, reuse, and recycle." That's all good, of course, but my own children laugh out loud every time they read how Max the Little Monster (before his attitude adjustment) clogs up the toilet with too much toilet paper, yelling "Hungry Toilet!" Kids...they just love the potty humor. Made from 100% recycled paper.

  • Julia Rawlinson: Fletcher and the Falling Leaves

    Julia Rawlinson: Fletcher and the Falling Leaves
    This book is incredibly sweet. A sensitive, little fox named Fletcher cannot understand what is happening to his beloved tree at the onset of autumn, and he tries everything in his power to keep the leaves on the tree. When he wakes up one winter morning to find his tree covered in dazzlingly beautiful snow crystals, it chokes me up every time. Although it's not about saving the earth, the book is a lovely tribute to nature and its seasons.

  • Diane Muldrow: We Planted a Tree

    Diane Muldrow: We Planted a Tree
    I love how this relatively new book (published in 2010) is charmingly illustrated in the same style as those Little Golden Books from the 1960's. In simple prose, the book explains what happens when you plant a tree and watch it grow, while enjoying the benefits of fruit, shade, budding flowers, and cleaner air.

  • Dr. Seuss: The Lorax (Classic Seuss)

    Dr. Seuss: The Lorax (Classic Seuss)
    This book is a classic for a reason. As I was reading it for the first time to my children, I could see the shock and sadness on their faces when the very first Truffula Tree was chopped down. Unlike the progression of The Curious Garden (see below), things just keep getting worse--all in the name of "progress." It ends with a powerful message: "UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not." Great for generating conversations with young children about caring for and protecting natural resources. Printed on recycled paper.

  • Peter Brown: The Curious Garden

    Peter Brown: The Curious Garden
    First, I have to admit it: As a mom, I'm *slightly* bothered that a little boy is walking around a creepy city all by himself, and "stumbles upon a dark stairwell" which he decides to head up. However, this book is simply magical, so I'll chalk it up to "willing suspension of disbelief" and let it go. With each page, as Liam grows from a novice gardener into a Green Thumb Extraordinaire, the dreary city in which everybody stays inside becomes a green utopia that everybody enjoys. Liam helps the whole city to bloom, and changes the mindsets of its citizens, simply by taking the first steps and sticking to his mission--without any preaching whatsoever. My favorite parts are the multiple spreads with no words at all, which depict how the gray, dirty city is growing greener and cleaner with the passage of time, thanks to our hero. Printed on recycled paper.

Green Books for Adults