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compost items in a bucketIn our continuing attempts to keep things out of the landfill, my husband and I have decided to up our efforts to compost. At the moment, we have a wonderful dog who eats many food items that we would otherwise throw in the garbage. For all the items that Jake doesn't eat, there are many more that we can compost.

To see all the items that you can and should be composting , check out this article on Marion Owen is a master gardener who has put together a list of 163 materials to add to your compost bin. Here are the first 10 items that Ms. Owen says can be added to your compost bin:

  • paper napkins
  • freezer burned veggies
  • pet hair
  • potash rock
  • post-it notes
  • freezer burned fruit
  • wood chips
  • lint from behind the fridge
  • hay
  • popcorn
Every garden my family ever grew was given the benefit of pig and cow manure. The soil loves it, and so do the plants. Honestly, my dog Jake would be digging and scratching up a storm if I had the audacity to throw food in a compost bin without even consulting him first. Now all I have to do is remember that almost anything I touch can be put in the compost bin. Anything to keep my plants happy.

If you don't happen to have a compost bin yet, Francesca tells you how to build one using shipping pallets.



  • Jeffrey Brown

    I maintain two compost piles - one with dog and cat waste for my ornamentals and blueberries, and one (surrounded by a ring of 4-foot fence) with only yard waste, vegetable kitchen waste, and chicken manure for my vegetable garden. I seem to remember from one of Gene Logsdon's books that cat waste, even composted, can transmit diseases to humans, and I don't specifically remember about dog waste, but she keeps my fescue looking so great that there is no need to take a chance. I'm considering trying vermicomposting for the kitchen waste. The others I turn about once a year whether they need it or not. Less than ideal, but they get enough nitrogen that it doesn't take as long as one might imagine.
    Besides, the unfenced pile serves as a brushpile home for a family of grey foxes. I harvest the compost after the young have gotten old enough to move into the neighboring woods. I keep about half a dozen hens, and lose one or two per year to the foxes or raptors, but it's worth it to keep a healthy population of predators in the neighborhood.

    Jeffrey, near Atlanta, Georgia

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