Frozen out of the compost pile

Frozen out of the compost pile

This is not exactly a complaint, just an observation. When there’s a frozen snowpack all over your compost pile, it can be tough to empty the ol’ bins. This is a situation we’ve faced at our house with the recent "real winter" we’ve all been experiencing (not like the usual Virginia "winter lite," which I’m happy to say seems to have returned).

So, we filled up our usual two bins, then filled up plastic bags we stacked on top of the bins, then filled up some more plastic bags that we stuck in the fridge because we were tired of going outside into Arctic temperatures, clutching an onion skin or an eggshell. It just feels pathetic, as though we were running an unsuccessful orphanage or something. There’s a tradeoff, though: Now our fridge smells like compost.

The bins in more pleasant weather.

The good news is that freezing veggie scraps helps speed up their decomposition. So all that stuff in the bins and bags, plus what’s already in our compost pile, should be breaking down nicely. Now that more humane weather is in effect, I think I can gather my courage to walk out to the pile and hack my way through the compost-sicles that are probably frozen to the inside of our bins. Wish me luck finding green matter to layer in there for nitrogen—in summer we use long grass, but these days, ain’t no such thing.

Anyone else had trouble composting the last few frigid weeks? What’s your solution?