Gardening, part 3: Compost; Fried Green Beans

Until I actually started my own compost pile I thought compost was a smelly pile of garbage one kept behind the garage.

Now I know better.

Compost, done correctly, doesn't smell.

It can be kept right on the kitchen counter if you like.

This will be a short post; composting is simple.

First: What goes in the compost pile?

From the kitchen: All of your fruit and vegetable scraps and peelings, coffee grounds, bread trimmings, and eggshells, plus the occasional bits of plain cardboard, black and white newspaper or plain, white paper towel. The worms like the wood pulp.
This includes scrapings from your dinner dishes except as below.

From the garden:  All of the trimmings and clippings from your vegetable and herb garden, all annual weeds that have not seeded, plus the occasional load of grass clippings from the lawn mower.

Second: What does NOT go in the compost pile?

From the kitchen: No meat, fish or dairy.  These will make it smell – which will irritate you and attract critters of the night.

From the garden: No perennial weeds, annuals with seeds or anything with a thick stem that will take a long time to decompose.

Third: Where should you put the compost pile?

You need 2 compost piles and they should be located out of the way as they will be permanent fixtures.

They should be on bare ground and be enclosed with a wire mesh or cage.  You use the first one for 6 months, just dumping everything on the top. 

At the end of 6 months you start using the second one. 

If you're ambitious, take a pitchfork or stick and turn or stir up the first one about a month after you stop using it, and again in another 2 months… Or not. 

The first compost pile will be ready for your garden in 6 months, at which time you stop using the second one and start over at the first.

I keep a plastic bowel under the sink that I scrape everything into as I cook, taking it out to the pile every few days.

Told you it was simple…

So are these….

Fried Green Beans

Everyone loves roasting vegetables.

As do I – in the winter.

I really don't like turning the oven on in hot, summer weather.

Plus, I'm usually in a hurry and roasting takes 10 or 15 minutes.

Pan frying only takes about 5…

Sautéed Green Beans

6oz (175gr) green beans
2 tsp olive oil
a bit of nice sea salt

Top and tail beans. Leave whole. Heat oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add beans and sauté, turning and shaking, until light brown and blistering in spots.  Remove, sprinkle with salt and serve.

Summertime and the living is easy….

6 thoughts on “Gardening, part 3: Compost; Fried Green Beans”

  1. Fresh green beans in the summer are such a delight.
    We have a good composting program in Ontario, whatever compostables you don’t want get picked up by the city.

  2. Love the paper towel idea! I’ve heard of using shredded paper for mulch (and really should try it myself), but have been burning used paper towel, up until now.
    We use a 55 gallon plastic drum for composting. My husband drilled holes into the bottom and put it up on cinder blocks for ventilation. No smell…until you start to move it down to the garden in Spring. The only scraps I’ve had trouble composting are corn cobs — they will break down, but it seems to take more than a year.

  3. We’ve been composting for years and it has paid off. We live in the mountains. Soil is rocky and clay but with compost it becomes like sweet Louisiana soil. It is also a good reminder of the cycle of life that we are a part of.

  4. If I ever get my life back in order, composting is one of my goals! Someday.
    The beans look great! I have some growing in the garden but they’re tiny right now.

  5. Natashya, great program… We don’t even get trash picked up here… Must drive it ourselves.
    Cymry, yeah corn cobs are tough… and the paper towels – only the pure white ones.
    rivrpath, I know that environment… Our soil in the Vendee was hard, hard clay – to start.
    Kalyn, your house is going to be soooo gorgeous! Composting can wait…

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