A Compost We Will Grow

Pumpkin Seedlling with seed attached

What the well dressed pumpkin seedlings are wearing this season.

I popped the lid off the green compost bin and oh, what a surprise.

Along side the rotting leaves and decaying kitchen scraps, there is a lot of growing going on. The first thing I noticed: the pumpkins! They’re enjoying the warmth and shelter inside the bin. I’m surprised though that they’ve found enough light. Will you look at them growing so tall and straight?

Lanky blades of grass are also taking root, along with sprouts of a to-be-determined nature.  I’m using an old Rubbermaid bin for additional composting, since I quickly filled my tumbling composter.  It’s hard to get leverage with the shovel, however, so I’m not turning it as often as I should. Now I don’t have the heart.

Pumpkin Sprout

Happy Sprout

Mushrooms in compost

Finding Nemo?

Sprouting mushrooms are right at home, the more predictable compost heap resident. The silver cap would look great in the fairy garden, but I’m resisting temptation. Its questionable origin makes it an unsafe bet for a tiny garden with small visitors. It’s cute though…if you’re into grey flowers.

Mushrooms in compost

Grey Blooms: Tim Burton Inspiration

Tumbling Composter: Some Assembly Required


As I excitedly ordered my tumbling composter, I failed to read the inevitable fine print. You know…some assembly required. I kept a watchful eye for the UPS driver, ready to pounce on that box. My kitchen scraps were taking on an odoriferous scent and still the composter didn’t come.

I eventually dumped the scraps in a bucket in the garage, and covered them with potting soil. It’s funny but two weeks ago I would have tossed those scraps or ground them up in the garbage disposal.  Now the scraps had a real purpose. My garden was counting on me.

UPS At Last

The day my husband, and resident handyman left for a business trip, the box arrived. I came home that afternoon to a damaged box on the porch, with one of the parts sticking out of the side. Oh-oh.  I was afraid to open it. The good news: no harm done. The bad news: so many parts. I was facing eight panels, two end pieces, six leg pieces and a bag with 56 washers and screws. I unpacked all the pieces, then left the room.

damaged box

Lindy sits on the directions

Lindy didn’t think she could help, either.

My son, in his sweet and gentle way, asked me if I would be moving it as it was blocking his path to the living room. Okay. I can do this. I fumbled around with my husbands various tools, found what I hoped would work and got down to the business of building a composter.  It went together beautifully, and was over half done when I called it a day.  I finished assembling it with my son’s help on Thursday. At last the fun could begin.

compost assembly instructions

Some assembly required

assembled tumbling composter


I had a bucket of “brown” from the pumpkin patch ready to go and a decent sized bucket of “green” to go with it. Into the bin they went.  I closed the door, gave it a spin, and smiled. Who knew rotted apples and dead leaves could bring about such happiness?

Do you compost too?

The Compost Recipe

I’ve seen several variations on the mix, but here are the suggestions from tumblingcomposters.com:

The composting process works best by mixing moist greens (nitrogen rich) with dry browns (carbon rich) in a ratio of approximately 2 parts greens to 1 part browns.

Greens are:

  • kitchen scraps
  • grass clippings
  • garden and house plants

Browns are:

  • leaves
  • straw or hay
  • saw dust
  • twigs

Do not compost:

  • meats/fats/bones
  • dairy products
  • trash/plastic
  • wood ashes
  • invasive plants or weeds

Serves several plants.