Hot and cold – the compost bin

As I was looking out the kitchen window for the first time this morning, I noticed my compost bin.


The fact that the frost stops where the compost starts suggests to me that there is some heat in there. It is a cold composting system as I don’t have the space, let alone the matter, for a hot one. At the same time, I had wondered what the compost bin might be doing at this time of year. So, it looks like there is something going on in there to keep it above freezing!

I do hope so, although I am surprised as the bin is mostly carbon materials at the moment (eg brown paper bags). I don’t know about you but in winter I generate far less green waste. Not only is the garden itself largely unforthcoming, but as I don’t peel most vegetables there really isn’t a lot from the kitchen either.

About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
This entry was posted in Gardening, Good for the environment, In the kitchen and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Hot and cold – the compost bin

  1. KathrynH says:

    It’s funny because we seem to be the opposite and we’re currently generating a lot of green waste that our compost bin just isn’t breaking down because it’s not warm enough. At this time of year I find I’m putting veg peelings, stalks etc in the bin (which I hate to do). How do you manage to reduce your green waste?

    • Helen says:

      To tell the truth, I haven’t been trying and wish I could have more, so that there is a better mix of green and brown. Generally, I don’t peel vegetables, so there are only a few tops and tails, plus garlic and onion skin. There are only two of us, so that means less ‘waste’ as well.

      I’m not really sure where the green waste comes from the rest of the year… Possibly the garden rather than the kitchen. I think I will keep a closer eye on this to find out ๐Ÿ™‚

      I guess it depends how much green waste you are accumulating… It won’t be long before it warms up and so goes down. But then if you don’t have the space for it…

  2. KathrynH says:

    I guess there’s five of us here and I am struggling with the contents of our veg box – I feel a few soup making sessions may be in order to use up the greens!

    • Helen says:

      That sounds a good idea!

      I’ve just been to our local farm and bought some broccoli, so this week there will be some greens for the compost, unless I decide to eat the leaves as well ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. Dan says:

    Looks promising! Our compost piles are blocks of ice right now. Even the one filled with hundreds of pounds of used coffee grounds mixed with shredded leaves. You must be doing something right ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Helen says:

      Thank you! Maybe it’s not so cold in my neck of the woods…. Anyway, your compost is going to be great once it warms up with all those leaves and coffee grounds๐Ÿ˜Š.

  4. I don’t know if you eat eggs, but the shells are compost able. I think you can also add the greens from weeds (just not the weeds flower or seeds) if you get desperate. I also compost coffee grounds and teabags. Your compost bin looks similar to mine (made by Fiskars)

    • Helen says:

      Yes, I can’t remember who made mine but it works well.

      You know, I don’t actually get that many weeds – maybe a sign of how poor my soil is! That said, with cardboard covering up most of the ground this winter, they can’t get a foothold anyway ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Pingback: Second-hand veg – or using up the leftovers | Second-Hand Tales

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