Author Archives: Jeremy

Rats and compost




Completely Updated 9/25/2016: Nobody wants rats in their compost. There are a few ways to get them to scram, and a few other ways to keep them from ever getting in, with varying degrees of cost and difficulty. Let’s start with the … Continue reading






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I’ll give you $50 for your fridge




Well, not me, but MassSave will. If you’ve got a second fridge in the basement (do people keep them anywhere other than the basement?) that is doing nothing but wasting energy, they will not only PICK UP your fridge for … Continue reading






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Making large paper pots




Now that we know newspaper is as safe as anything else to use in the garden, here is a quick tutorial on how to make paper pots. I generally use a soil block maker to start seeds and then another block maker … Continue reading






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Upcoming compost class and event




I should have posted this earlier, but I’ve got one class (Thursday, October 1) and one event (Thursday, October 8) coming up. The class is Composting 101, taught through Arlington Community Education, Thursday, October 1, 7 – 8:30 pm. We’ll cover … Continue reading






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Is newspaper safe to compost?




It is spring and your world is awash with compostable materials from the kitchen and yard, but you’ve got no leaves to act as a carbon-rich material, so now what? Newspaper is the typical answer, but is it safe?






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How many leaves do I need?




People often ask how many leaves they should save for their compost pile. It’s the right question to ask, because when making compost if you strike the correct balance of leaves and nitrogen-rich food scraps, you’ll get rich, light, sweet-smelling compost. Get … Continue reading






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Breaking the rules and smelling the results




I know the rules of what should and should not go into compost. I’ve written about it. I’ve spoken with hundreds of people about the rules in classes. Still, I broke the rules, and now I’m paying the price.






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Garbage smells, compost doesn’t




Note: A shorter, slightly different, version of this appeared in the Arlington Advocate. Concerns about smelly compost usually come from people who, understandably, don’t understand the difference between a compost pile and a pile of garbage. So what are the differences … Continue reading






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Starting a compost in winter




This has been a very cold, very snowy (snowiest on record, more falling as I type this, on March 28, 2015) winter. Even in these toughest conditions you can successfully start a compost and get it cooking. I took this … Continue reading






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Winter Composting do’s, don’ts and what if it doesn’t?




Winter composting always seems to confuse people, which is understandable. So what is the secret to successful winter composting: Do the same things you do when composting the rest of the year, only faster.






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