Making Composting Easy and Fun

We all know the earth feeds our families, but we can feed the earth too. Read today's post to learn how!

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The purpose of composting is pretty simple: to reuse your organic trash and renew your soil. Adding compost to your yard can make your soil, plants, trees and lawn healthier. Plus, you’ll cut down trash headed for the landfill by 30%.

We chatted with two Plum District Moms to see how they incorporated composting in their homes.

Ginger, of Los Angeles,  says ever since installing the compost bin and utilizing a “food scraps” container (a small metal bin right near the sink), she’s amazed at how much less trash she’s producing and how good it feels to re-cycle. Her family’s daily routine includes a trip to the backyard with their food-scrap-filled canister to “feed” the compost bin.

Liz, of Denver, recommends a simple black trash can ($12) with the bottom cut out and air holes punched in the sides. You can also Google the word “composting” to see if your city offers free containers. The Department of Sanitation in your town just may surprise you!

Here’s what to put in your new compost bin (it’s an easy equation):

Half green, half brown, a little water, a little air flow, and heat.

  • Green is your vegetable and green plant scraps, or your nitrogen: carrot peels, apple cores, lettuce scraps, pepper cores, orange peels, potato skins, celery tops, grass clippings.
  • Brown is your dead plant matter, or carbon: last fall’s leaves, deadheads and old twigs from your bushes, grass clippings that you let dry in the sun for a day or two.

The key is getting the mix right. Water the bin until the mix is moist like a sponge. Then make sure there are some air holes, put the lid on and let it heat up! If you have the mix right (the 50/50 split) it shouldn’t smell at all. If it does start to smell like ammonia, you’ve got too much green stuff. Add some brown.

(Note! Here’s what you should not put in the bin: No meat, no fats. No steak bones, or cheese rinds, or leftover bacon, or last night’s salad with blue cheese dressing).

Now that you’ve collected your bin, you can keep it right in your garden. The sun heats it up, and the good compost-making worms and bugs will crawl right in. When it’s time to harvest, just lift up the trash can, and that handy hole in the bottom lets the rich brown compost fall out! You can distribute the compost through your soil to increase its richness and feed our earth!

Composting is a great daily activity for you and the kids. It teaches the whole gang to be conscious of the earth and reinforces how even the littlest effort makes the biggest difference.

Liz Easterly writes StapletonMoms.com in Denver, where she keeps a little backyard garden and a $12 trash can compost bin that her two boys help care for. Ginger lives with her husband and two children in Los Angeles, CA and loves working for Plum District.  Since starting composting a year ago, she feels a little better about doing her small part to leave a healthier planet behind for the next generation. 

A Greek-Inspired Healthy Dish

Easy and delicious for the whole family

salad

Here’s a GREAT Mom dish brought to you by Las Vegas District Consultant, Maria Oakes! It’s quick, easy, tasty and healthy – all things we moms look for in every meal we make!

Pick any Taverna, Cafe, or restaurant anywhere in all of Greece and you will find a “Horiatiki” salad on every menu. The Greek-style salad is a staple in Maria’s home. It can be served as a side dish when you’re missing that healthy extra- oomph or even as a meal in itself! Prep time is just about 5 minutes….literally as long as takes to cut the vegetables and drizzle the Olive Oil.

Maria’s favorite veggies are always (1st) from the garden, (2nd) from the farmer’s market and/or even the local grocer around the corner. Here are all the ingredients:
  • Tomatoes (as close to home grown as you can, is the best)
  • English Cucumbers preferably (but other Cucumbers work just as well)
  • Red Onions give the most flavor (but white or even green are great in a pinch too)
  • Green peppers (or get crazy and throw in yellow, orange or red too)
  • Kalamata olives (or whatever olive you might fancy)
  • Feta Cheese – the favorite is FRENCH Feta (shhh, don’t tell the family)- mainly because it’s creamier and doesn’t have the bite that some of the others have!
  • Freshly baked bread- French Loaf, Baguette or Italian Round all work great!
So let’s do it!
  • Simply chop your veggies up to bite size pieces
  • Drizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil (yes, always Extra Virgin – you can find some that are very tasty AND inexpensive)
  • Season with salt, pepper and Oregano to taste
Then enjoy! Maria typically serve this “family-style” – so break bread, dip in and munch right off of the platter!