I have an organic spinach habit that’s breaking our bank.
Paleo fare is full o’ greens, and I have to say: I feel my best when I eat greens at least twice per day. But at $3.19 a pop for a 5 oz. container of fresh, organic spinach, we are going broke with my salads, green smoothies, Leann’s aloo palak, etc. Last week we realized that we need to grow our own greens, and we need to start NOW. Although spring has sprung here in Germany, it’s a bit too early to start our standard container garden. A cold frame, however… A cold frame makes an early (or late) garden do-able. **A cold frame is basically a mini-greenhouse. Click here for more info.**
After a full year of coveting a cold frame, we finally bought one. We planted our little garden in a mixture of soil and our own compost that has been festering and rotting (literally) for a full year! This was our first experiment with making compost. I didn’t think it would work, but amazingly, when I lifted the trap door at the base of our compost bin I was rewarded with rich, fertile, black and tan striated compost. I was overjoyed… Yes, overjoyed that I had made dirt. As I lovingly gazed at my rich, soft soil I was struck by the femininity of gardens and dirt.
“Dirt is feminine?” But of course! First, there’s the obvious: Mother Earth. Gaia — “the great mother of all.” Without our Mother Earth, we would not exist! At least not on this form, on this planet. Our earth is made of organic matter — rich, complex, warm, and fertile… Like a womb. Meant to nourish and grow tiny seeds, which will in turn grow into plants that nourish (and grow) our bodies. And our bodies will eventually return to the earth. Birth and rebirth — what a cool cycle! It feels great to be a part of it in my tiny way; living and breathing, working the soil, planting seeds… And making compost.
Do you want to try making compost? We are certainly not experts, but here’s what we did.
Step One: Make or purchase a composter. We bought ours on amazon.com, and it has served us well!
Step Two: Layer on organic matter (egg shells — crushed!, banana peels, veggie peels… No meat), then add a layer of leaves (or newspaper shreds), then add a few shovel-fulls of dirt. Every time you add a layer of organic matter (veggie scraps, dead flowers, etc.), repeat the layering of leaves/newspapers and dirt.
Step Three: Wait, and wait, and wait, and wait. Depending on your composter, you may have to turn it with a pitchfork. We didn’t turn ours… We just waited a year (a full year!) and when we lifted the trap door, we had beautiful compost. Maybe we got lucky… But boy, it was easy.