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Making compost

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Just over a week ago I created a no-dig vegetable garden in our backyard. We’ve since installed a compost bin to handle the kitchen waste and lawn clippings. You see, I had been using a cardboard box for a couple of weeks but we needed something that would contain the smells and keep out the flies and a cardboard box just didn’t cut it. The solution was to purchase a black plastic bin for aboutAU $30. While not the cheapest option it’s certainly affordable.

So now that we’ve got a compost bin (not possible in an apartment building) I thought it would be simple, throw everything in and leave it alone.

There are however, a few things from the kitchen that can’t be composted. No meat. No dairy. No greasy fats and oils. Definitely no seafood. You also shouldn’t add dog or cat manure as they are carnivores.

In fact there’s a certain special recipe for compost making to ensure that the compost decomposes into rich fertile black soil.


  1. Nitrogen – fruit & vegie scraps, lawn clippings, tea leaves, coffee grounds, manure, egg shells
  2. Carbon – dried leaves, small twigs & sticks, paper, cardboard, straw
  3. Air
  4. Water

Mix regularly and you should have compost in a few months.


5 responses »

  1. Always love to see coffee grounds mentioned as a compost ingredient. It not only helps with nitrogen, the grounds help heat up the stack, absorb bad smelling odours, and give you a lovely end product.

    • Yeah, I hadn’t really thought of using tea leaves and coffee grounds until I started reading about composting. Unfortunately no one in our household drinks coffee but I’m thinking of approaching some local coffee shops to see if I can collect their coffee grounds to use. Hopefully they won’t think me too nutty!

      • No not at all. Fairly normal now for people to collect and use coffee grounds. If you need help with that let me know.

      • Thanks for the encouragement 🙂 I notice ground to ground is based in Melbourne. Do you know of any southside Brisbane cafe’s interested being involved? I’ll let you know how my coffee ground search goes.

  2. I used to always get coffee grounds from Starbucks. If they haven’t packed the coffee grounds in their stylish Starbucks compost distribution bags, you can always ask the manager. They would pack a day’s worth of grounds in one large trash bag.


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