After reading Gaia's Garden, I was convinced that the compost pile was a waste of effort for myself. You have to pile the kitchen scraps up somewhere, at a bare minimum, to create compost. Then you have to apply that compost somewhere, at least for it to be of some use to you. Last season I dumped a five gallon bucket full of kitchen scraps into a simple compost bin, and covered it up with straw or mulch or weeds, and repeated all season long. I probably dumped 20 buckets onto a heap that stayed at about 3 feet in diameter and about 3 feet tall...all year. The compost was literally being eaten by the soil life, and I imagine it became so rich in that place that nutrients began leaching into the sub soil, into the water table, and away. While this situation is certainly better than sending all of that biomass to the landfill, it wasn't much of a yield for me. I ended up with one wheel barrow load of compost that I applied to one bed. All of that effort just for one garden beds worth of amendments. Granted, any chance to participate in any kind of garden alchemy, I'm game, but this seemed too...inefficient for my liking. I've since converted from composting in piles above ground, to pit composting.
Pit composting is an idea I can get behind. It's simple, effective, and it minimizes work on my part which frees me up for other things (like telling my son no, and stop that, and put your wiener up). It certainly isn't a method for everyone. Dig the hole deep enough, and cover it up, and even dogs will leave the mess alone. You can literally compost anything you want (pending it's actually compostable in the first place). You won't have to concern yourself with nitrogen/carbon ratios, moisture, or oxygen content. No turning of a pile, no checking of temperatures with compost thermometers, no worrying about a pile bursting into flames, no worrying about unwanted volunteers sprouting up, no concern for attracting varmints, and no obnoxious smells to piss the neighbors off.
|Dig a hole|
|Dump 5 gallon bucket full of kitchen scraps in hole|
|here you can see that I dug the hole on the down hill side of a berm|
|Allow local feral fauna to inspect and taste kitchen scrap slop, to determine it's of no interest|
|Fill hole back in|