Mulch, rot, and reinvigorate: composting

compost heap jerusalemI love composting. It is pure satisfaction for anyone remotely interested in growing things, and watching how things can grow, sprout, shoot up, and also decay, die and rot.

When you turn the soil, and see the half-eaten tomato, or ear of corn, or artichoke leaves from a recent dinner, and know that they are slowly decomposing and will be used to aid new plant growth, well … to this gardener, that’s an earthly heaven.

In later posts, I will go into the science of composting a bit more, and discuss the necessity of nitrogen and stuff (I had better go away and do my research first), but here, gentle green reader, allow me to wax lyrical some more about the benefit of worms, tiny mitochondria, bacteria of all types, the humble woodlouse, and the glory of recycling urea.

I haven’t yet had the fortune to become a parent, but if all that nurturing and feeding is half as much fun as tending a warm, burbling and hungry heap, then maybe I’m half qualified.

Today, I started digging out the pile of maturated compost and distributing it to borders and flowerbeds and potted trees and plants, that need and appreciate this healthy winter adrenaline shot.

While doing this, I hoped to discover and report here that the bio-degradable drinks bottle, made by Belu, bought in London last August and cut up into little pieces and scattered into this very heap the same month; by now was no more, and that its bio-ness had worked.

But alas, the pieces remain, and will be reburied in the next heap which I’m starting tomorrow. Also, I’m going to be advocating community composting through these posts, here in Jerusalem, and in Tel Aviv, Be’er Sheva, Haifa, Holon and Pisgat Ze’ev.

Lets get all our lettuces, cabbages (who else gets sometimes 2 a week in their vegetable box? See our story: Eating Organic at Reasonable Prices), peelings and all manner of stuff all mulchin’ down together.

And if that isn’t happening, let’s ride those personal wormeries!

If you live in an apartment, consider making an indoor compost:

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22 thoughts on “Mulch, rot, and reinvigorate: composting”

  1. louise in efrat says:

    I just moved here. I have a lovely garden and hope to plant some veggies next summer. the soil here is very hard and composed mostly of clay. I am constantly buying top soil for planting. I started composting two months ago. I find that without earthworms, the kitchen scraps I put in are not decomposing. I’m afraid I will not have some good soil for vegetables. I found someone in Beit Shemesh that sells earthworms. I hope it works.

    1. Is there enough moisture in there? Try covering it with a blanket and watering it once and a while. As far as I know you don’t need earthworms for a successful compost.

  2. monique says:

    Hello all,

    I see that this thread is a bit old, but after googleing composting bins + israel, i found this website that dosen’t seem to have been updated in a while, but perhaps is still useful.

    We want to start composting here at home, so I just started looking for info on how to get started and found this blog. Look forward to reading more!

  3. james says:

    Yehudah – the black plastic water tanks/butts are made by a firm called ‘Hofit’. You can order them through garden centres (try the one on rehov Beitar in Arnona, near the Taielet Promenade) – but they are expensive.

  4. Yehudah says:

    Anybody know where I can buy one of those big black plastic water tanks (typically seen on rooftops of Arab homes)? I think I can modify it and use it for a compost bin, but the plumbing supply places here in Jerusalem don’t seem to be able to point me to a source for these (guess they just sell the white metal dude tanks.) Thanks!

  5. julia says:

    yes. composting – a good thing. i used to have a compost bin in our backyard in Canada. the municipality also began taking compost on a weekly basis just before we left. but now i am here in israel and have no idea where to buy one of these bins? they don’t seem to be as readily available here. anyone have an idea where to get them? resources??? thanks.

  6. ecodavid says:

    i was considering to start composting in my tiny little garden here at Budapest. now, i’m gonna start doing it.
    keep doing your great eco-site. i like it.

  7. willow says:

    I too am having difficulty navigating websites in Hebrew on composting options in Jerusalem. Any help on a)stores where compost bins are sold, or b) compost drop off points would be most appreciated. Many thanks!

  8. ecoist says:

    Happy to see intrest in composting in Israel.
    I don’t speak hebrew yet and find it difficult to get info about the matter.
    Does enyone know, from where I can buy a compost for kitchen waste, maybe for inside or airtight for outside?
    Really apprechiate if anyone knows/

  9. kmc says:

    hey james,
    that would be great if you could check with your friends in tlv and see what they’re doing. thanks. i’m not sure if i’m ready to go the wormery route… plus, i have no idea where to get them here. what do you do? do you have a garden?

  10. james says:

    Hey Kmc … I don’t know, but have several green friends in TA so will check with them. If not, get in touch, and I will happily come by & give a green hand. What might be best for you could be a wormery … not sure where to get them here though …..

  11. Maybe you could start one in lot around your building. Make it a community thing?

  12. kmc says:

    Hey – just wondering if anyone is doing any community composting in the Tel Aviv area? I’ve been wanting to start composting for a while, but have a teeny tiny little apartment with literally no room for a composter. Any ideas/advice?

  13. Karen says:

    Me too! I don’t think there are many things more satisfying than using compost that you have made yourself AND saving goodies from going into landfill. We also have a wormery, which is great fun and produces the most fantastic compost.

    Karen, Wiggly Wigglers

  14. dobeman says:

    Greetings from the States!

    My own compost heap has been neglected since the weather got cold. Not much heat being generated and what I did add towards the end of fall, is pretty much still there in one form or another.

    I need to get back into it since spring will be here before I know it.

    Good Post!


  15. Tania says:

    I love composting too… apart from the fact that the amount of rubbish in our bin every week has severely and happily declined, it gives me a wonderful feeling of giving back to the earth, rather than just taking. Nowadays, when I am at a friend’s place and they’re making a meal, I offer to take their peelings too… Many an evening I have returned home with a bag of cucumber ends and carrots shavings.

  16. James says:

    Hi Karen, Is that Wiggly Wigglers in the UK? If so, I’m a big fan, and always buy stuff from you when Im in the UK … including a great water siphon we have here in our bathroom in Jerusalem!
    Thanks for reading …

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