Always, the soil must come first.
– Marion Cran
Years ago I decided to make cold compost in my Vita-Mix! I put carrot tops and other produce waste in my extra Vita-Mix container. I would fill it halfway with water, process it and pour it onto the soil in a half-whiskey barrel by my kitchen porch. For some reason it looked like (gross) dinosaur vomit to me! In the morning the cold compost would have been dug into the soil?… It turns out that Tom was grossed-out looking at it and would always dig it into the soil before he came into the house after work. That Summer I grew the biggest most gorgeous vegetables and flowers in my barrel! I give all the credit to cold composting and my Vita-Mix…and Tom!
Fast forward to my present situation with: 1) a tiny backyard with no room for a composter, 2) my daily fruit and vegetable waste, and 3) garden soil that needs nutrients. Luckily I remembered Vita-Mix’s easy recipe for cold compost and have started making and applying almost-daily batches.
Here is some of Vita-Mix’s information and directions from their owner’s manual:
“…Cold composting is closer to nature’s way. Organic material is directly applied in a thin semi-liquid laying on the soil’s surface, without being ‘cooked’ like hot composting, and is allowed to break down naturally.
Composting with your Vita-Mix gives you the best of hot and cold composting. Pureeing organic kitchen scraps will not bring the temperature of the compost above 160 degrees F (71 C), thus retaining the beneficial microorganisms and nutrients.
With the VM, you avoid putting any weed seeds into the compost. And if any do make it into the container, they are destroyed by the action and speed of the blades.
And because the compost is immediately applied after it’s made, it’s … a fast and easy composting method.
All you need to make free, super nutrient-dense compost is a spare wet blade container (never use your normal food container for composting or making fertilizers and natural pesticides.) Loosely fill the VM container to the 6-cup mark with leftovers that you would normally run through a garbage disposal. (Carol: I do not compost the ends of banana peels or certain things I think could put a strain on a VM motor. I also have not added the “1/4 cup cottonseed meal” to each batch for “proper carbon-to-nitrogen ratio”. I haven’t found it yet!) Add enough water to cover the produce scraps. Blend for 1-2 minutes, by dialing 1-10, then “HIGH”.
Immediately after making the puree, pour it on the soil around your plants. Wait a day to allow the puree to seep in. Gently till the soil one to two inches deep. Cover the puree with a double layer of peat moss mulch and burlap to prevent it from drying out and becoming unusable to the plants (Carol: I don’t cover the puree with anything.) If you are feeding worms, don’t till the soil.“
I hope I’ve made this sound easy, because it is!
And if you’re grossed-out by cold compost (like Tom was) you can always sprinkle on peat moss mulch for instantly attractive soil.