Composting doesn't have to be stinky, messy or time-consuming anymore! For those of you who don't know what composting is, it's the act of treating your food waste, paper trash and/or yard clippings so that they "return to the earth" in the form of decayed organic matter. Composting has at least two benefits. First is that it allows you to recycle and reuse your own organic trash, thus reducing your contribution to the waste stream. Second, it provides you with an incredibly rich source of nutrients for your garden and house plants.
The problem with composting has always been that it's messy, smelly, inconvenient and a lot of work. You used to have to traipse outdoors with your food scraps to put them in either a covered pile or an outside composting drum of some sort. You used to have to aerate or turn your pile to help it "cook evenly." I once followed some home-made composting recipe, where you put everything into a black plastic bag and shook and turned it periodically, only to find the bag full of maggots when I finally opened it. As my friend Gail would say, "eeeewwwe!"
No more! I've been using SCD's Happy Farmer Kitchen Composter for six months now, right in my kitchen, no odor, no mess, no manipulation. It's a little bucket and a lid with a good seal that fits under my kitchen counter, into which I throw all manner of food scraps. The secret is the companion product, "bokashi," a fermented wheat bran and molassis product that acts as a compost starter, and completely eliminates the odor of decay when sprinkled atop food wastes in the compost bucket. According to the SCD website, "when added, Bokashi will begin a fermentation process that will neutralize odors, increase the mineral content and prepare food waste to become high quality compost." And it happens very quickly! http://www.scdworld.net/product_p/kit-1-1.htm
The other really cool thing about my kitchen composter is that the bucket has a perforated floor about three inches from its bottom, through which all the moisture from the composting material flows. There is a spigot at this level that allows you to draw off this rich, organic liquid for fertilizing house plants or whatever. I warn you, the liquid does smell, and you would be wise to draw off about a quarter a cup of the liquid into a full two-quart container of water to dilute it sufficiently before watering your house plants, or you will be smelling it for days! Trust me, your plants will love it in its diluted form, and you won't love it "straight up."
If you've been thinking about composting, or have had very bad experiences with composting in the past. This is definitely the product for you.
By the way, here's some information on what kinds of organic matter you may add to your compost bin, http://www.compost-info-guide.com/browns.htm, and what you should not add to your bin, http://www.compost-info-guide.com/dont_add.htm.
If you have a different (but great) composter, I'd love to hear about it.