You can compost in an Apartment!

To compost and to compost some more. Where it all began.

What I had in Sydney

When I lived in Sydney we owned a Cottage built in 1901. I had a little country garden that I created in the midst of a busy city suburb. There was a herb garden, chickens, vegetables and a compost bin. I loved having a composite and chickens. Between the two we were able to reduce our food scrap wastes to practically nil. I loved knowing that I was helping to reduce landfill and reducing our stamp on the environment.

When we decided to relocate to find a more balanced and serene life in Brisbane. I never worried about the loss of the garden, the compost and the chickens. We would buy a Queenslander and start over again. I was also hoping to keep bees too.

You know? Things just never turn out exactly as you plan it.

Source: Brisbane Artist Debra Hood – Queenslanders

To solve a problem in an apartment in Brisbane

When we moved to Brisbane we feel in love with the converted Woolstores that dotted the Brisbane River. They were also situated in a leafy suburb close to the city and we knew that we had stumbled across an urban oasis. I didn’t stop, well choose not to think about the fact that we would not be able to have a vast garden with a compost. As for chickens and bees … well, that was not going to happen. Or so I thought ….

At first, I told myself that it was okay. I would now have the time to do other things. That did not last long. The desire to grow herbs, to have a garden was too strong. Once a gardener, always a gardener. But it was the issue of kitchen scraps waste that was causing me some worry and grief. I had already switched all our cleaning products, body and face care to organic, natural, no chemicals and sustainable products. By the way, look out for my next post on this page about my journey to a more sustainable use of products for the home and body.

I am a Capricorn and we donโ€™t have a Plan B. We have a Plan C, D, E and even F! I was on the lookout for a way to compost whilst living in an apartment. I knew there had to be a solution. Indira Naidoo a well regarded Journalist on the Australian SBS had created an edible balcony garden and has also written some books as well. I started to think about how I could also have an edible garden on a balcony. But what to do about the kitchen scraps?

I started to think about what Brisbane Council could do. I mean, they collect rubbish and recycled material. Could they also do a third collection of Kitchen Scraps? Imagine having massive compost piles that can feed all the public gardens in the Council area. I have some ideas and I will be contacting Council to see if Brisbane could potentially be the first Australian Council to collect kitchen scraps, especially for those who live in apartments. This is more imperative as ever as apartment living is growing in strength in Australian cities. The quarter acre block of the post War period is now extinct and those remaining are being sub-divided or developed for even more apartments.

More Australians than ever are taking up apartment living … Over the past 25 years, the number of occupied apartments … in Australia has increased by 78% … There has been a steady increase in the number of apartments since 1991.

https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by%20Subject/2071.0~2016~Main%20Features~Apartment%20Living~20

The light bulb moment

I eventually found a solution. I subscribe to Breathe Magazine, although I am 18 months behind on my issues. I was recently quite sick and all I could do was lay in bed and read. I picked up an issue on my pile to read and there was a feature on supporting local businesses. This is another significant belief I have and will also be writing about this in a future blog too. There is a Gold Coast company that makes a garden planter, compost and worm farm in one! I hit the jackpot! I ordered one and I am currently waiting on my worms. Only just a couple of days ago I ordered a second one for my strawberry plants which come in season in March. I am off to buy a few punnets today after I write this Post.

I have started to build my little edible garden. I have included a before photo and another photo that shows the balcony with the first lot of herbs, a chilli and curry plant and some marigolds to keep the pests at bay.

As mentioned, I will have strawberries and I also plan to have a lemon and lime tree in a pot and some kale and spinach.

“Gardening is the art that uses flowers and plants as paint and the soil and sky as canvase.”

Elizabeth Murray

I have just found … literally, just found this amazing site that recycles food scraps. I was doing some research for this Blog and discovered Planet Ark Recycling Near You a company that will provide a bin for you to put your food scraps in and they can pick up or you can drop it off. I am so excited about this! I have just emailed them and I will definitely keep you informed on this extra way to dispose of kitchen scraps in a sustainable way. Yeh!!

Planet Ark Recycling has a fact sheet on Food Scraps. The link is here.

I invite you to subscribe to my Blog so you can get updates to how my edible garden is developing. Please feel free to come back to this Page to see how my garden grows. Below are some links to Composta and where I will get my worms from and, this wonderful and friendly nursery I have just discovered. One I just love. They are all Queensland Businesses. Now, to see if I could also have a bee hive! … hmmm … thinking …. thinking!

Before … it all begins … January 2019
First lot of Herbs and potted Gazania – February 2019
March 2019 – Lime and Lemon Trees in pots and some Marigolds to add colour and keep bugs down.

Links of the Products and Businesses I use.

Composta – Garden, Compst and Worm Farm in one.

Worms – Kookaburra Worm Farm

Cottage Garden Nursery in East Brisbane

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