Composting is an integral part of any garden. At Two Coves we are fortunate to have a dynamic group of organizers, gardeners, and volunteers from outside the garden working together to turn kitchen scraps into “black gold” (compost), which in turn feeds the soil and provides a healthy environment for our plants.

The compost area can be a bit confusing since a lot of things have been in flux. 

The journey from waste into wonderful compost follows a course in our compost area: kitchen scraps, food waste, household organics and other compostable materials are deposited in the tumbler closest to the entrance of the compost area, where it is “cooked”. Once this tumbler is full, the contents are moved to another tumbler (much like you would move something to a back burner while cooking).

The contents of the tumblers continue “cooking”, for about 4-5 weeks.  Chalkboard paint was recently applied to the tumblers, so we could keep track of how long something has been “cooking”.  Once the contents of the tumbler have “cooked” for long enough, they are again moved to the three-bin to cure (or cool down). Curing is a process in composting that allows for activity in the compost to settle, letting it cool down enough to use close to plants.

For more info on why we compost, click here.


At home, it will help keep your scraps from rotting and smelling if you keep them in the freezer. Also, freezing helps them break down.

Bring your food waste or weeds chopped as finely as possible (anything 3" and smaller is great; 6" and larger is not good; in between is fine) to the tumbler that is directly to the left upon entering the compost area. (See picture). If you need to chop your scraps, there is an edger chained to the fence that you can use. Put your scraps on the ground and chop them. Once they are small enough, you can either use gloves hanging to the left, on top of cabinet, or just your plastic bag you brought scraps in to transfer to the tumbler. (No one wants dirty hands!)


Remove ring and lid. Place food waste/weeds in tumbler; add wood shavings, dried leaves, or shredded newspaper in the adjacent blue bin (approximately 75% of the volume of that food/weeds). Replace lid and tighten.


What can I compost?



Vegetable and fruit scraps 

Chopped weeds

Grass clippings without chemicals

Crushed Leaves

Biodegradable Paper Products

Newspaper clippings (soy based ink)

Brown paper bags

Coffee Grounds, Tea Bags (no staples please)

What is NOT Allowed in the Compost?

No meats, fish

Nothing with oil in it

No dairy

No cooked leftovers (unless plain boiled or steamed)

What do I do if the Bin is already full?

Use a glove or other material to pack the contents of the tumbler in. Also, please email the compost team.

What do I do if I want compost?

There is a “Help Yourself” bin before entering the compost area, to the right.

What’s in all those other bins?

Composting is a revolving process, so there will likely be compost in various stages cooking in the various tumblers and curing bins. Gardeners are asked not to touch or disturb these. 

How can I find out more about Volunteering to help Compost?

Visit us for additional information on different ways to volunteer.

Two Coves Community Garden,
Jul 2, 2010, 4:23 PM