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Discussion Starter #1
I am trying to keep our runs to the county dump to the minimum.

We shred our paper and use it for the chicken house nesting boxes.

We keep our cans and bottles for recycling, and we give obvious chicken-food type leftovers to the ( :rolleyes: ) chickens.

But what do you do with these (I think) compostables?

* tea in teabags?
* coffee in paper filters?
* lint?
* fireplace ashes?

I'd like to keep our waste stream as small as possible, and I am looking for all avenues available.
Thanks, folks!
Deb
 

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* tea in teabags?--I would think they would break down in compost pile after a while.

* coffee in paper filters?--well, my mil gives those to her pigs, filters and all, but if you don't have pigs, probably throw in compost heap like the teabags

* lint?--hang in mesh bags (like orange bags) for birds to use in their nests. That's probably more of a springtime thing. I usually just toss mine in the trash

* fireplace ashes?--spread in the garden or flowerbeds
 

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All but the ashes wil compost just fine. If you have acid soil that needs liming, ashes in moderation will help. I have also used ashes in low spots on a dirt drive way to fill in puddles and build up the area. Put some in the chickens' dust bath area.
 

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Don't use paper coffee filters-you can buy a reusable filter for about what a pack of disposables cost and use it forever (mine is over 3 yrs old.) dump the coffee grounds in the compost pile.

You can also buy loose tea and use a tea-ball - dump the used tea in the compost pile.
 

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I also vermicompost all that stuff, except the wood ashes. We have a worm bin in our basement and all our kitchen garbage goes in there (except meat and dairy stuff). I compost tea bags and coffee filters (take the staple out of the tea bag tag if it has one). I have lots of nice castings for my garden and any plants I bring in for the winter.

I have a few spots in the woods where I dump our wood ashes, but I always keep some in a bucket near the house because they are wonderful for traction.
We live at the bottom of a hill and it seems like someone is always getting stuck and spinning their tires and making it icy for everyone else. A sprinkling of wood ash on the icy spot does the trick.

The book Recycle with Earthworms by Shelley Grossman tells how to begin a compost bin. Of course you can build a compost bin outside too.

www.wormbooks.com
 

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I do a LOT of laundry, and I take the lint and stuff it in a used toilet paper roll and save them for winter. They are a good fire starter for the wood stove.

now that's a handy twist on what i have been doing. i save paper egg cartons too. stuff each hole in the carton with lint, then pour melted wax over each one, either leftover candle stubs or parrafin, as is used in sealing jelly. dandy firestarter- acts just like a candle, if the wood is damp or a bit green. i like that toilet paper tube idea- less fuss and muss.:) i've got four i was getting ready to give to the rabbits for toys. thanks!
 

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That is a GREAT idea for the lint. There are two people living in our house full time and one on week ends. Ditto for our neighbors. They generally set out two BIG cans every week. I generally have one-maybe two plastic grocery sacks of trash, and go by the recycle drop off 1-2 times a month. Another neighbor's cousin recyles junk for metal, so was loaded up with old fenciing, grills, bikes, and whathaveyou that had been taking up space. We collect about 9 feed sacks of unrecyclable junk over the year, and these are snuck into unguarded dumpsters. I'm not able to lift a trash bin into the back of the truck for the long drive out to the road and need to cheat. Forgive.
 

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We seem to be an oddity on our street. We rarely have the can half full even if I forget to set it out and go two weeks. And I do not have a compost pile here because I am renting. I think it may be because we just don't buy a lot of junk (food or otherwise).
 

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Tea leaves and coffee grounds go right into my garden(s). Which may be one reason I've never been able to grow rosemary (it hates the acid), but my basil is always fabulous. :)

Although you can lessen the impact of the acidity with some eggshell and other stuff.

Leftover tea and coffee get poured on my blueberry plants --- they like nothing more than a little cup of motivation every day or so.

And, yes, you should get one of those permanent filters --- I got a gold one a year ago for $7. They're great! :D
 

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Everything you listed goes into the compost heap, with the exception of the wood ashes, which go directly into The World's Happiest Asparagus Bed. Between the wood ash and manure, my asparagus is in great shape. :)

(Have you tried Epsom Salts for the rosemary plants?)

Pony!
 

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If you have ant problems, you can also save the coffee grounds to put around the house foundation to help keep them out.

Love the toilet paper tube/lint idea!!

I have also had kids make paper crafts from dryer lint. Great Christmas project! You can make a paper mulch and pour it on a screen to make paper... kids can add some flower petals or glitter or??? To make special card stock. You can also pour the mulch into cookie molds to get ornaments. Some of those molded Paper ornaments sell for a good amount! Especially theme ones.. like sand dollars in ocean side towns, bear and moose ones for cabin themes... etc.

Here is a link for how to's.

http://hometown.aol.com/Ppreble2/paper.html

Grandma
 

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the lint makes great nest material for the rabbits , from there it goes into the gardentea bags and coffey grounds are great and decompose fast some research indicates that paper coffey filters remove oils that have been linked to heart disease in heavy coffy drinkers,wood ashes are great for all gardens and lawns just dont burn large amounts of plastics and trash because then you creat a heavy metal contamination situation,and remember never burn cca treated wood just a reminder since its almost wood burning season here.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
This is marvelous, everyone! Thanks. :cool:

A few questions.....
How do you use eggshells? Won't they cut your hands if you leave them as is in your compost?
My asparagus is definitely wilting this year, Pony. I had planned the horse manure idea, but that is neat to think of the ashes for it as well. Can it be overdone, though? (We heat w/ wood and have a LOT of ashes....)
Does 1/2 inch sound like too much ash for the asparagus?

Do pigs really eat coffee grounds? Ugh, I hate coffee! The idea of coffee flavored bacon - Yech! :eek:

Can I do worm composting in a regular compost pile outside?
 

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dla said:
This is marvelous, everyone! Thanks. :cool:

My asparagus is definitely wilting this year, Pony. I had planned the horse manure idea, but that is neat to think of the ashes for it as well. Can it be overdone, though? (We heat w/ wood and have a LOT of ashes....)
Does 1/2 inch sound like too much ash for the asparagus?



Personally, I don't think 1/2 inch is too much. I've just taken the ashes from the fire pit and dumped 'em right on the bed. (I have a sort of "Grow, darnit!" approach to long-standing crops.) Between that and composted manure, we get some mighty fine eating. :)

Pony!
 

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Well .... ::blushingandduckingforcover::

I wash my eggshells, then crush them up a bit.

I wash them because I'm living in Critter Heaven here, and I just don't need anymore reason for the critters to come calling. So I try not to put anything out --- like eggshell with egg still on it --- which the critters might like.

I save the broken eggs til I have a mess of them. Then, I fill the sink with warm water and soak them, then swoosh on them til there's no remnant of egg on them.

BTW, Pony, THANKS for the epsom salt tip! I'd actually heard that but never have had the good sense to remember or try it. This year, though, for sure I will! :D
 

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countrygrrrl said:
I wash my eggshells, then crush them up a bit.

I wash them because I'm living in Critter Heaven here, and I just don't need anymore reason for the critters to come calling. So I try not to put anything out --- like eggshell with egg still on it --- which the critters might like.

:D
I lift a pile of mulch/compost with a pitchfork,wife dumps in the leftovers,then I flip over the compost forks worth back into hole,covering scraps.Nothing has been digging in the pile,we have raccoons and squirrells too.Pretty good worm crop too.Biggies and baby worms.
booBoo
 

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OK, I never did this, but an eccentric :) friend did: she took eggshell halves and planted small seeds in it. Then as they grew she transplanted the whole thing to the garden. Just an idea for the spring.

What I have done is crush them so they didn't look like eggs any more and fed them back to the chickens. I use a wooden egg and a golfball to discourage egg eating in general.
 

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BCR said:
OK, I never did this, but an eccentric :) friend did: she took eggshell halves and planted small seeds in it. Then as they grew she transplanted the whole thing to the garden. Just an idea for the spring.
Oh! That reminds me of first grade!!! We brought in eggshells that our moms had carefully cracked so that there was a good 3/4 of the shell intact. We drew faces on them with markers, put potting soil in the shells, and planted grass seed in them. Kind of a 60's version of the Chia Pet.

Ah, memories... :)

Pony!
 

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countrygrrrl,
We conducted an experiment on worm forum and descovered that coffee grounds are more neutral than acid pH. Most of the acid leeches out when the coffee is brewed.

bcr,

I like knocking the top out of my eggshell seed starters so I can put about 2
ounces of potting mix in them. I then use the egg carton to make a germination greenhouse using sahran wrap. When the plants are ready for transplant a gentle squeeze of the shell to crack it without shocking the roots and into the garden.
 
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