Seen the price of potting soil? I go through bags of it since our Florida yard soil is very sandy and does not have much nutritional value for healthy plants. Over the years I have amended it and it is getting better, both in consistency, drainage and ‘muck’ value. Mulching certainly helps, but takes a long time to break down. I didn’t want the expense of getting a composting drum and my husband was pretty concerned about the perceived odor. Determined to give composting a go I bought a 25 gallon plastic drum from a large nursery store and punched holes in the bottom with a box knife. Every day I put the potato peelings, egg shells, carrot tops, coffee grounds, broccoli stems, orange peels, wilted lettuce, molded fruit, tea bags and anything else I could think of including the paper from the bottom of our bird cages but with the exception of dairy and meat. I covered it with a lid and watched the transformation from gunk to gold. I won’t go into the fascinating meltdown process that takes place but it’s fast! In no time at all I had black, healthy compost that I can incorporate into my veggie pots and they LOVE it. And guess what….no odor. Now don’t let this gross you out, but sometimes I see the pile moving as the bugs, worms etc. chomp their way through this decomposing morass-like heap. It’s also a smorgasbord for all the lizards and frogs that eat anything of a flying nature that thinks it can muscle its way in. Honestly it’s a wonder my neat freak beloved puts up with my “experiments” – what with the recycled (and well rinsed out) 15 gallon detergent containers positioned at strategic points around the house catching the runoff rain from the roof (very classy) and now the compost heap!