Wednesday Wow: What’s in the Compost

In our home, food shouldn’t be wasted,dirt is vital to life and everyone can help compost . I just can’t say it enough! WE COMPOST!

I love the idea of saving money and reducing waste by composting certain food scraps and yard waste.We even get a little exercise in as well. Teaching these natural life skill to my children is important too.


We have been composting since December. For the most part, its been easy, inexpensive and exciting to see how everyone can work together toward a common goal of seeing  this labor of love grow healthy and strong.


Up until yesterday, I have been very proud of our compost bin. Everything was going well. The browns and greens  were beginning to break down and the kids were taking an active part in helping maintain and waiting to feel the “heat.composting3“.

Even my husband had began to respect my back yard operation. I loved all that rain we got the other week. It helped the compost and our water bill a great bit.


 So much that I realized that I was getting too low on leaves (the browns). I did recall the helpful lady from the city saying that I could use ripped up strips of newspaper (not the sales ads) but I didn’t want to. So riding to the market I seen a huge 3 row pile of leaves & promised myself that I would pick at least one bag up. Two days later, I had it. I did seem heavy to navigate into the van, but I guess I was so eager to get it home that I paid it no mind. I was thinking  “OOOh this bag is huge-I scored BIG! ” Once I got home and my daughter asked to empty it. She came back to me and said “Mom, the leaves aren’t suppose to smell. I think you have a body in there!”


Needless to say, I’m too scared to check it out. I’ve brought my newest table scarps in locally & saving it in a bag on the other side of the back door till I get someone to investigate it for me. My stomach is too weak to pitchfork any corpse, and I don’t want my kids to see death like that……YUCK!  I’m thinking the hopes of seeing this 3 ft, labor of love  turn into a dark, crumbly mixture of decomposed organic matter, to control weeds, provide nutrients to plants, improve soil and save water is now a pipe dream. Any tips? Can I save my compost, and look forward to making compost tea or should I call animal control to retrieve whatever had the bag heavy and smelly? Oh, the woes of a fresh composter……

New gardeners learn by by trowel and error.


6 thoughts on “Wednesday Wow: What’s in the Compost

  1. Usually if leaves are bagged wet, and left sealed for a while they’ll begin “anaerobic decomposition,” which means decomposing without air. All sorts of smells will build up and the bag will seem very heavy. I doubt that there’s a dead animal in there. If you feel the sides you may notice that it’s smooth and even. If you feel anything hard then you’ve got a problem! I’d just leave it for the garbage man. I don’t think your daughter put the leaves in your compost pile.

    • Thanks for the advice…..Our compost is in eye shot of the back door. She did dump them in there. Don are you saying start it over? Oh my. What if I just reluctantly remove all that got dumped?? (Yuck to the thought!!!!)

      • If she dumped them in and there’s no dead body, you’re good. You don’t want to thick a mat of leaves or air will never get in and the pile will continue to smell bad. Spread things around and the smell will go away quickly as the decomposition goes from anaerobic to aerobic. I’d suggest you take a pitchfork and pick off the leaves and spread them around the area about an inch thick for a few days. Once they dry out a bit and the smell is gone you can pile them up near the compost pile. Then your method is to add kitchen scraps to the pile and cover with a few leaves. Keep doing this and you’ll be fine. Keep doing the layering and your compost pile will be working properly.

  2. Don, if either of us was thinking, you could’ve brought it to the MCFVC meeting…..anyhoots it wasn’t a body! (thanks goodness) More good news, we got STEAM!!! Yay, and I even got my husband to put stakes in the compost wire to keep it from flying away as it has beenin the past. That made me really happy. Last but not least, I’m still snatching leaves up from my neighbors lawns. :)Thank you for everything Don!

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