Last week, I received a rather wonderful countryside accessory from the lovely people at Garden Trading – a compost bucket. Not just any compost bucket but a beautiful specimen in the perfect colour to match my new country kitchen. Never one to shy away from a challenge, this started a whole lot of kitchen and garden thinking in the Margot household! We have never had the space, time or inclination to think about creating our own compost heap but, coincidentally, it turns out that our ramshackle garden at the new cottage has not one but two compost heaps. So, it would seem that the compost bucket has arrived at just the right time!
Composting is, of course, the most environmentally friendly way of recycling your kitchen and garden waste, not to mention the best way to get wonderfully enriched soil for the garden. Although most won’t have the space for a compost heap of their own, it would appear that kitchen waste recycling is on the up in the Big Smoke as its inhabitants try to do their little bit for the planet. With the likes of Zac Goldsmith championing the ‘Go Green’ mantra, it would seem that recycling has become terribly fashionable dear Reader! Even here in our little corner of suburbia, I was surprised to find out that the local council provides a caddy which one can use to deposit kitchen waste and it is collected alongside the ordinary rubbish – incredibly simple even for the laziest amongst us and cuts down the number of full to bursting black bags each week. Guaranteed to earn one a place at Zac’s supper party table! With that in mind, I thought old Margot should give it a go and make a start with a little bit of recycling – rubber gloves at the ready!
Visions of raking through the bin trying to pick out the bits that could be composted, have always put me off doing this in the past. I hadn’t a clue of where to start with the whole composting lark! According to the garden gurus, the first job is to know what can go into a compost bin (apparently wayward children and bitey puppies cannot be composted…). So, just for you, dear Reader, here is what can be thrown on the heap!
Kitchen waste – coffee grounds, tea leaves, tea bags (cut into them to help break them down), vegetable and fruit peelings/scraps. NO meat, cooked veg or dairy products.
Green garden waste – grass clippings, prunings, fallen leaves (that sort of thing). You can add stinging nettles to your heap to add extra nutrients apparently.
Some top tips for getting started on Garden Trading’s blog and the Recycle Now website has a great step by step guide to the perfect heap here. Not ready for that quite yet but I am pleased to report, dear Reader, that I have been dutifully using my new bucket to recycle our kitchen waste. I added a bit of newspaper to the inner removable liner so that the sludgier peelings and leftover scraps wouldn’t have me scrubbing out the bucket every time I emptied it out. Newspaper is compostable too so this will just add to the perfect heap. Scented candles are already working overtime on preventing the house smelling of dog so the air tight seal on the lid is a godsend when it comes to preventing any unwanted whiffs emanating from the bucket! So far so good, our bin bags have been considerably lighter and we intend to keep it up once we move and have our own compost mountains to maintain. Although, saying that, Jerry is already mithering about how my fruit and veg compostable compote will no doubt spoil the perfect bacteria equilibrium for his grass clippings heap! He also mentioned watching out for rodents. Surely he can’t mean…..RATS…..dear Reader? Rats in Margot’s perfect bit of countryside? I should jolly well hope not!