It’s January in Minnesota. I trudge up the snow covered (and slippery) hill in the backyard. In one mittened hand, I hold the handle of a bucket full of kitchen waste – carrot peels, orange skins, coffee grounds, and the like. Halfway up the hill I reach the plateau where our chicken coop and compost bins are located.
I open the hinged door of one of the compost bins and upturn the bucket onto a very frozen pile of older kitchen scraps and the straw that was cleaned out of the chicken coop last week. It’s below zero (F) and the pile is very, very frozen. Not a whole lot of actual composting going in this very cold compost pile. What I’ve just added on the top will be frozen solid in a matter of hours in these cold conditions.
So, just how are you supposed to compost year round in places with extremely cold winters?