Monthly Archives: December 2014

Easy Compost in Wire Bin

Easy Compost in Wire BinMake easy compost in a wire bin. There are several advantages to this system to get started composting. Sometimes it is best to start off easy and see where it all goes from there. I just finished this pile of compost. See how beautiful and black it looks. There are leaves that are still not composted because they were on the edge of the bin. But they will compost eventually.

Easy Compost in Wire Bin Advantages

There are many different ways to compost.  I want to outline what makes this method so easy:

  1. A wire bin is inexpensive–less than $60.
  2. No need to turn the compost–it takes longer so be patient.
  3. This compost can be made from leaves and green garden waste which are both readily available.
  4. Very satisfying to watch as the compost shrinks–which means it is composting and breaking down.
  5. Trouble free–no food waste for critters to feed on and no turning for you to worry about.
  6. When finished just lift off the wire bin.  No need to shovel out compost from inside the bin.
  7. It takes about a year to break down.
  8. Easy instructions to follow.

Instructions For Wire Bin Composting

Basically you have to layer greens and browns.  Greens represent things that are high in nitrogen like grass, green plants or weeds from the garden, coffee grounds (even though they are not green) and animal manure if you can get your hands on any.  Browns represent things that are high in carbon like dried leaves, straw, sawdust, peat moss and coconut coir.  Here is more information on compost ingredients.

First you would put down a layer of browns.  I use leaves.  I collect them in the fall and they last all year.  And then I put down a layer of greens.  I make the layers 3-4 inches thick.  I also sprinkle a little dirt or finished compost between the layers to add extra microorganisms.  You don’t need very much dirt.  I have a lot of greens in the spring and fall.  In the spring I clear the weeds from my garden–mostly ground ivy.  I don’t use obnoxious weeds like crab grass or English Ivy.  I throw that in the trash.  In the fall I put in vegetable plants that are ready to be cleared out.

If you bag your grass when it is cut, grass is an excellent green.  I would put in a 2 inch layer of grass because when it clumps and gets thick it doesn’t compost so well and smells really bad.

Make sure you put down some kind of weed block landscape cloth that water will go through.  And that you put your pile away from any large trees because feeder roots will be attracted to the nutrients in your pile.

If you live in a place where you are not worried about forest critters coming to eat from your compost pile you can add kitchen scraps as a green layer.  Just check out this close up of this black gold compost!  Click on the picture below to order a wire bin.Easy Compost CloseUp

Dance Exercise for the Winter

Dance Exercise for when it is frozen outsideDance exercise is a new concept to me.  During the spring, summer and fall I get a lot of exercise by taking care of my garden.  Now here we are: the garden is frozen, the days are short and it is COLD outside.  I have taken up dance exercise to keep me fit.  (Please check with your doctor before you start this to see if it is OK for you to do.)

Some music just makes me want to move.  I like the beat and it inspires me to start dancing. So I decided to pick out my favorite music–put it on my i-pod and make up my own dances!  It is cardiovascular exercise and it is fun and exhilarating!  Here are some of my favorite songs:

Happy by Pharrell Williams You can see from all his videos of this song how people like to dance–some videos are 1 hour long!  You can get great dance moves from these videos.  Your kids might like to jump around and dance with you!

Shakira Waka Waka

The Gummy Bear Song

Choose some slow moving songs for rest time.  This will give you time for your heartbeat to normalize.  This way you will have fast, jumpy music and slow relaxing music.

I Hope You Dance

Only Time

The great thing about this dance exercise is that it is fun, nothing to memorize–just make it up as you go along and it is good for you. I always feel so good when i am finished.  I know that I just did something good for my body.  And somehow dancing around to my favorite music lifts my mood and makes me happy.

Dance Exercise as Recommended by High Voltage

I was just recently reading the Sugar Savvy Solution: Kick Your Sugar Addiction for Life and Get Healthy by High Voltage. I would like to get sugar out of my life and eat more healthfully.  The interesting thing about this book is that she also recommends dance exercise.  Here are some quotes from her book:

  • “Do you find exercise boring–this is not a typical exercise routine.”
  • “Move and shout for as long as it feels good…”
  • “Our bodies were designed to move”
  • “the natural high you get from this routine will last all day.”
  • “Magic happens by blending the music and the words”

So really we are on the same page about exercising.  The thing that I don’t do is to shout out affirmations as I do my dancing.  That would certainly enhance my experience.

High Voltage bases her book on five actions to incorporate into your life.  I find these very helpful and I try to remember them every day.

  1. Get hydrated
  2. Be kind assume an attitude of gratitude and forgiveness
  3. Announce your affirmations loudly and proudly
  4. Eat sugar savvy approved(meaning very little sugar)
  5. Move your body

Good luck trying the new world of making up your own dance exercise!  You’ll love it so much you will even do it when it is gardening weather and you are getting your gardening exercise!