Kitchen Scraps + Leaves -----> Tomatoes

Compost Update: 6.23.2005
Well, the fornicating worms weren't enough. I'm afraid my composting activities have sensed my deep-seated Republican thoughts and just won't decompose. I dumped the worms and pilot size compost into my big composter and churned it up. I found a zillion ants! I suspect my balance is simply off. It's about 2/3 moist leaves and 1/3 kitchen waste. I'll keep churning but I think I just have a pile of waste.

Compost Update: 5.12.2005
Well, one co-worker a million of you have asked about updates on this post. For about 3 weeks I shook my mini-composter of kitchen waste and leaves about once a week and kept it moist. No change. Yesterday I put in a pile of worms from my neighbors compost heap and put the mini bin in my garage (so it wouldn't overheat in the sun) and will keep an eye on it. In the 7th comment, a reader gave me this link for composting recipes too. Thanks!

Original Post: 4.19.2005

worms currently ravaging
leaves and kitchen waste
and hopefully mating like rabbits
Here at Dave's Beer we are enamored with all things fermentable.

It's getting close to the time when we plant our favorite fruit, the tomato. Unfortunately, our compost heap died this winter. We set it up by layering leaves and good old food scraps. It was pretty hot for a couple months but then died. The heap is mostly still in the form of leaves rather than nice rich compost. I guess we buy some topsoil this year. But, in the meantime, I'll be experimenting with a small-scale tumbling composter; a hole-punched plastic container that I shake daily for aeration. Before I dump over a hundred bucks on something like this, I want to verify the turnaround they claim (in the order of weeks).

This image is a shot of a plastic container with holes in it so it can get moist. It contains a weeks worth of scrap food and about 3 times as many leaves (in mass). I'll water it and shake it daily to promote the microbial decomposition. I'll post the final appearance when it turns.