Wednesday, November 23, 2005

163 Things to Compost

Just when you think you know everything there is to know about composting, someone says, "hey you, why aren't you throwing that freezer-burned fish on the compost?"


Marion Owen, creator of PlanTea, has a list of 163 things you can compost in her latest issue of the UpBeet Gardener newsletter. Hair clippings, wood ashes, and old pasta are just a few of the bizarre things on her list.

But back to that fish: has anyone ever tried this? I was always told that meat and meat products have no place in the compost.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right, unless you're raising rats on the side. Takoma Gardener (commenting from away from home.)

5:57 PM  
Anonymous Annette said...

I'd be unhappy putting fish on the compost heap in case a cat got it and then choked...not to mention the risk of rats.

For composting meat-based stuff, there's the Green Cone, which is totally sealed and therefore hopefully rat-proof.

8:32 AM  
Blogger Stuart said...

Andrea, I've often put fish in my compost after very successful fishing trips resulted in an oversupply of 'neighbours-fish' which my neighbours didn't accept, and I've never had a problem with them.
I would view this similarly to using fish emulsion or blood and bone as a fertiliser. They've never attracted vermin and if they did, we wouldn't use them. The beauty of fish over other meats (which I would recommend NOT composting) is that they break down rather quickly.
As for the cats choking. I'm not a cat-lover unless of course they're barbequed medium-rare so if one died in my compost heap that could present concerns for attracting vermin.

3:22 PM  
Blogger Alice said...

Although it's not nearly as interesting as Marion's list, all compost ingredients basically come under one title - Anything That Has Had Life. This covers all plant and animal material, but I would still exclude MEAT, OIL AND FAT.

Christmas wrapping paper will break down quite quickly in water and can be added to the heap as well.

12:31 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Fish - My dad used to bury the scraps and bits from cleaning fish at the roots of the rosebushes. Never seemed to harm them, they thrived.

Perhaps the key here is to bury the fish in the pile, so that any tantalizing odor is difficult to actuallty get...

5:00 PM  
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4:21 AM  

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