If you're anything like me, every spring you say this will be the year
the entire yard is complete--the vegetable garden, the weeding, the
landscaping--it will all get done and look picture-perfect before the frost sets. And then, if you're anything like me, July rolls around, the weeds have taken over, and you've thrown up your thorn-pricked hands in vain and are forced to wait again till next year to start the mess all over again.
One way you can start to get your hands dirty--and prep for that lush garden--is to start composting. Start by collecting food waste in containers. You can make your own, or get something like this counter-top one
, which reduces any odors. If you generate too much before the spring thaw hits, you can always place the excess food scraps in the freezer.
If you've never composted before, it's actually really easy to get started. Green Daily
offers a guide to composting in winter. (One tip: If you've
already moved the food waste from the small counter-top compost bin to
the outdoors, keep it warm by orienting it to the south or placing a
light bulb over the mixture.) Ecollo.com
serves up an easy-to-follow video. And Eureka Recycling
in St. Paul offers even more tips and guides, including a composting workshop for beginners. The U of M Extension Service
offers some handy tips for building your own outdoor bin (you can also buy one at home stores). There's also a Compost Tumbler site
, where you'll find a wealth of info on creating the perfect, rich mixture you soil will love.
Not only will composting make your garden bright and happy, it's good for the environment, too. According to Eureka Recycling CEO Susan Hubbard, the largest human source of methane comes from landfills. And food scraps are the single largest source of methane emissions, which is anywhere between 25 to 75 percent more potent than the carbon emissions created by driving a car.
And if you’re composting at home, you can reduce about 75 percent of your discards managed outside of trash disposal. That's a lot of waste going to happy, health gardens. Here's to spring!