I know I’m quite a bit late, but this was my parent’s Christmas gift to me! A compost tumbler, which is going to be painted black very soon. There are holes for air to pass through and long nails to break apart the compost when it’s being turned. When it’s all ready to be used up in the garden, we just roll a wheel barrel underneath, open up the door and shovel out what we need:) it’s super neat and I cannot wait to put it to use!
Seattle is the first city in the nation to fine people for not properly sorting their garbage. The law took effect on Jan. 1 as a bid to keep food out of landfills and encourage composting instead.
Seattle Public Utilities estimates that every family in the city throws away some 400 pounds of food each year. And so the new law aims to incentivize recycling and composting. For now households that throw away food are warned with a bright red tag on their garbage bin – but fines will be imposed come Jul. 1.
In Scandinavia, we have a high rate of coffee consumption, the highest per capita in the world, in fact. As such, leftover coffee and coffee grounds are a gardening resource that is available in abundance here.
So far, I have found it works in the following ways:
LIQUID COFFEE (leftover)
Collect, and allow 2-3 days to ferment outdoors in a watering can; dilute with water and apply to high-nitrogen demanding crops like lettuce and corn
Spread around delicate crops to repel insects of all sorts, but especially to repel slugs and snails around leafy vegetables.
Spread around flower beds to repel cats, rats, and dogs.
Mulch into the soil in large quantities around acidic soil-loving plants like rhododendrons and blueberries. Research has shown coffee grounds actually lean towards neutral pH as they decompose, so mix with a shredded leaf mulch such as oak to get a higher level of acidity. Either way, it’s high in nitrogen (10%).
Used coffee grounds are usually sterile; they can be used to grow edible mushrooms.
Worm food! Coffee grounds are a big hit in the vermicomposter.
Sheet mulch in vegetable beds to deter fungal diseases: coffee grounds host their own fungal colonies, which suppresses other fungal growth (and diseases like damping off, blight, etc.)
Coffee lovers may have noticed a new offering in their local cafés. Cascara is a tea-like drink with a fine, fruity flavor and plenty of caffeine, and it’s popping up everywhere. For this new addition to chalkboards nationwide, credit Aida Batlle.
Batlle is a fifth-generation coffee grower in El Salvador, whose coffees have won international awards. One day a decade ago, she arrived at a coffee cupping —where coffees are sampled for flavor — and detected a pleasant, hibiscus-like scent in the room. When she asked the other coffee tasters about it, they pointed to the husks from recently milled coffee.
“So immediately I got curious with it,” says Batlle. “And I just picked through it, cleaned it, and then put it in hot water, to see what it was like. Then I called my customers at the time, and I was like, ‘Oh, my God, you have to try this. I’m going to send you a sample.’”