I used to feel a bit guilty putting all that great organic material down the garbage disposal. I often wished that I had a valve I could switch that would channel the perfectly ground-up material directly into a compost bin.
When I got the bin from our county, I started saving fruit and vegetable peels and other organic material in a bowl next to the sink. That worked fairly well, but the little neighborhood beasties were often so delighted with what went into the bin that I felt as if I was doing a raccoon smorgasbord each evening. And when the crowd at the smorgasbord got too big or too rowdy we had to listen to the horrible squeals of their arguments over that last tasty bit of watermelon rind or corncob.
The other problem was that some items seemed quite resistant to decomposition. It appeared that the remains of Thanksgiving
dinner were still intact when we put in the remains from Easter dinner.
Then one day, as I looked at the bowl full of compostable goodies next to the blender, it hit me: compost smoothies! It solved my two composting obstacles and delighted my youngsters and their friends. After a cup or two of water, it almost didn't matter what else went in -- the coffee grounds with filter, eggshells, fruit and vegetable peels, dead potatoes and lint (all cotton) from the clothes dryer.
The kids and their friends loved to make it as "yucky" as possible. They shouted enthusiastically "Oh gross!" And the raccoons shouted "Oh darn!" (Guess they're not so fond of coffee-filter gazpacho.)
Poured over the leaves and grass clippings, it doesn't attract critters and it considerably speeds up decomposition.
The kids became experts, knowing just the right amount of water, paper and produce scraps. Their skill at creating compost smoothies has given them an appreciation of recycling and a greater investment in the garden.
The raccoons may not be happy but the earthworms are, and our compost is beautiful -- fine-textured and rich. Happy kids, happy plants and unhappy raccoons -- it's the perfect combination.
Here's the recipe:
-- Make sure to use enough water so that the motor on the blender is not straining.
-- Start slowly until you know what your blender can handle.
-- Cut large pieces or tough material into smaller pieces before putting in the blender.
-- Pour the smoothie evenly over the leaves and grass so that there aren't soggy spots in the compost.
-- Continue to turn the contents of the bin occasionally for aeration.