For most people the words cottage and compost don’t go together. The risk of attracting bears and other unwanted visitors is too great. For others, the benefit of reducing the amount of waste to be taken to the dump is worth the chance of possible wildlife encounters.
When done properly, composting at the cottage can benefit the garden, and even help save some serious cash on the fishing bait.
How do you compost outdoors at a cottage?
Use a sealed compost container that is either store-bought or homemade to keep out animals. Locate the compost bin in a shaded area as far away from the cabin as possible in the event it attracts wildlife.
Always chop up kitchen vegetable waste into small pieces to help speed up the process.
Do not try to recycle meat, bones, dairy products, animal fat, and animal waste.
You can add newspapers, cardboard egg cartons, tea bags, coffee grounds, garden waste, grass clippings, and leaves.
Keep the compost moist and turn it once in a while. This keeps the decomposition process balanced throughout all the composting material.
Use night crawlers to help breakdown the organic waste, and provide a constant supply of fishing bait.
If you are are concerned about bears but still want to compost vegetable scraps, a kitchen composter is perfect for the cabin. These units have a charcoal filter and will reduce or eliminate odour while allowing you to recycle the organic waste inside the cabin. The one below is both practical and stylish.
For cottage and cabin anglers, a worm composter may be the best bet. You probably already keep worms in the fridge. Why not let them do some work? A worm farm is a great project for the kids to undertake at the lake.
Steps for Building A Worm Composter
Use a dark plastic container with a tight lid.
Drill 8 or 10 small holes in the bottom, sides, and lid for ventilation. The holes have to be small enough that the worms won’t escape.
Elevate the pail off the floor using a couple of 2 X 4 wood blocks. Place an aluminum pie plate underneath to catch any water that filters through.
Add a base of chopped-up newspaper, cardboard, and leaves.
Mix in the kitchen waste and then add the worms. You can catch them yourself or buy them at the tackle shop.
Go to the Live Bait Tips page to learn how to catch dew worms.
Stir the compost periodically with a stick or wooden spoon. Filter out the by-product once in a while and add it to the garden.
Enjoy the free source of garden fertilizer and healthy fishing bait.