Our Sustainable Living Experience

Composting Competition – Autumn 2014

We asked people to send us their stories about Composting, Organic Recycling, Organic Gardening, Worm Farming or any other related Sustainability topic.

By Sharyn Williams

We would like to show how we experience sustainable living through composting/organic gardening/organic living/recycling/worm farming, whereby we strive to help the environment in small ways by little steps we take each day.   This is achieved in the following ways:

COMPOST/WORM FARM/CHICKENS

    All our food scraps/organic matter go to our chickens or our worm farm or we dig them straight into the vegie patch or compost them.   By having chickens/worm farm/compost all organic matter goes back into the ground somehow which is way better than putting it into a plastic bag and then landfill.
  • We encourage our children to be active in the veg patch/chickens/worms – for example, they love to help sort through the worm castings when needed icon smile Our Sustainable Living Experience

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    worm farm

  • Even though we sometimes use designated compost bin/compost pile, my husband also often picks a part of the vegie patch (and rotates regularly to different parts) and digs the organic matter/food directly into the beds and they compost down into the bed over time.
  • The only material that goes into our recycling bin is anything that cannot be composted.  For example asides from food scraps we compost (or give to worms) all cardboard, toilet rolls, hair etc.  Composting is a necessity of life – it is a cycle that needs to be fed over and over and over again.
  • Weeds get put into an old bath tub so they heat up and break down and can then get composted back into the vegie patch/garden.

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    Old bathtub used for composting down weeds

  • We have our own chickens which free range and get fed our food scraps which they love.  From these chickens we got lovely fresh free range chemical free eggs which mean we don’t buy eggs that have food miles added to them.   The majority of the chook house was built from recycled materials we have acquired as giveaways overtime – one man’s trash is another man’s treasure icon smile Our Sustainable Living Experience

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    chook house, fruit trees, vegie patch

VEGETABLE PATCH AND FRUIT TREES

  • We have fruit trees and a vegetable/herb patch to grow as much of our own food as possible (free of chemicals) plus nothing tastes better than freshly picked and eaten the way nature intended.    Also this reduces the food mileage on our food as a lot of our fresh food travels directly from our garden to our plate.   Over time our goal is to keep increasing the amount we grow so we eat more of our own.
  • Our vegetable patch is a huge part of our lives and being organic in the vegetable patch is a must.   Often the bugs might beat us or get well fed but that is life and we just keep on growing and trying and never giving up.   The joy of planting a seed and watching it grow into something that you eat is amazing.   Our young children love to plant out seeds and nurture them and watch them grow also.

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    vegie patch area

  • Nearly everything to create the borders for our vegetable patch was from recycled materials.  The fencing and pavers was all from recycled materials we have acquired as giveaways overtimes.   The frames for peas/tomatoes, berries are either from recycled timber or from big tree branches.

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    vegie beds – using branches for frames for peas etc, plus other recycled materials for individual bed borders

  • As we are on tank water, all water that is suitable that can be reused on the fruit trees, vegetable patch or garden is – we never waste water as water is so precious.

To us, life is about living and enjoying the simple things in life and being environmentally responsible is an important part of that for us – we are just doing as nature intended.   I make my children and others aware that we are part of a whole system which includes every other living organism and nature – we cannot function as individuals or separately as everything we do affects something else.  Just having that in the back of your mind can influence the decisions we all make.  Being “sustainable” does not mean you go without, in fact it means that life is lived the way it should be lived both for our own and others health and happiness and for mother earth.   Everyone who can should give composting and/or worm farming and/or vegetable growing a try.  Thank you.