This site is an archive of For the latest information about Susy and her adventrures, visit the Cultivate Simple site.
Thank you for all your support over the years!

Compost Bowl

March 21st, 2009

I really enjoyed all of your comments yesterday about your compost bins & systems. Bridgett asked, “I am wondering if you all have ever seen the kitchen compost containers? You keep them in your kitchen and use it to collect your cooking scraps for a few days and then transport it out to your compost pile later. I love the idea (especially in these cold Ohio winters) but am wondering if they smell after a day or so???”
What a great question. Composting is something I grew up doing, so having a bowl on the kitchen counter collecting food scraps is very normal for me. Just about everyone I know that composts has their own system for storing kitchen waste that’s waiting for the compost pile; some hide it in a cabinet, some us a container with a lid, some us a beautiful little crock or container like one of these, and I’m sure there are ways that have never crossed my mind.
My compost bowl is an old bowl that’s cracked so I no longer use it for cooking, so it’s been demoted to compost duty. It’s always on the counter, I usually leave it there until it’s full. There are days I empty it twice a day, and some times it’s only a few times a week. I personally like having my bowl on hand right on the counter, I don’t mind it being in plain site. I actually like to advertise the fact that I compost to encourage others to do so as well.
There is one thing that I don’t throw in my compost bowl, and that’s egg shells. I put them in the toaster oven or oven and dry them out a bit, then I crush them in my mortar & pestle and add the crushed egg shells to my raised beds; I have found that they take too long to break down in my compost bin.
I should have cooked up a big dinner so I could show you a nice photo of my overflowing compost bowl, but alas we’ve been busy and only eating leftovers, so all that’s inside are a few tea bags.

Do you save kitchen waste & compost? What container do you use for this task and how often do you empty it? (take the poll)

Three-Bin Compost System

March 20th, 2009

I spent the day yesterday moving my compost piles. I have the wire compost bins from Gardener’s Supply and I really like them. They are super easy to use, I especially like the ease of taking them down to move or turn my pile.
I actually have 4-5 compost piles. I have one for pine straw that I use for strawberries, blueberries, hydrangeas and other acid loving plants. I have a big brush pile that is for animal habitat, I have 2 regular compost piles and I have yet another that’s finished compost ready to be used.

When we were at Longwood Gardens I saw a wonderful three-bin system that I would love to have in my garden!
It’s a three-bin system, which if you use it properly will make compost faster than my way of just piling it up for a year.
We took a lot of photos of it because we really liked the design and I’m hoping to have one here at Chiot’s Run someday. The details are fantastic, like this lid that hinges in the middle for ease of use. They thought of everything!
Notice how they even extended some boards up the back of the bin to hold the lid when it was open.
Someday I hope to have one of these in the gardens to make my composting system much more efficient. But until then, piles on the ground will suffice.

What kind of compost system do you have? Do you compost?

Adventures in Composting

August 4th, 2008

We have been composting here at Chiot’s run since we first moved in. We have a small yard so we can never make enough compost to help with our terrible soil. Throughout the years I have bought bagged chicken & cow manure, mushroom compost, and a few other amendments, but I have been looking for a local source of bulk compost. A couple weeks ago I stumbled upon an ad on Craig’s List for compost. Mr Chiots and I borrowed my parents Durango & trailer for the task. When we arrived at Hawk Trucking in Massillon and Tim loaded 2 1/2 yards of compost into the trailer.

Of course, since it’s always an adventure with us, the tire went flat as soon as the tons of compost hit the trailer. I must admit the poor trailer is old and well-advanced in years so I guess a flat tire wasn’t so bad.

Tim was super great and helped us pump up the tire and we were on our way. After a slow trip home we arrived sans any other problems. The trailer was unloaded and we have a huge pile of compost ready to be worked into the flower beds.

Tim’s compost is GREAT (and fairly inexpensive)! I plan on making a few more trips so I can add some to all my flowerbeds. This will be put to good use when I plant all those Hydrangeas I bought at Donzell’s!

I love this sign Tim had hanging back by the HUGE compost pile.

If you need any compost let me know, I can send your e-mail address to Tim. If you don’t have a trailer you can always take a few rubbermaid totes and fill them with compost (we filled the back of the durango with totes full of compost to make the most of the trip).


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.