So I just started my first compost pile, although growing up my family always did, but I guess I never paid attention to the details. We just moved into our house at the beginning of the year. For the compost foundation I raked up around a huge oak tree that probably had several years worth of leaves already composting beneath it. I'm sure some of this stuff was good to go as I got that rich earth smell from the deepest layers as I went. I've continued to add to this with grass clippings and kitchen waste, and stir regularly. The compost pile is just sitting out in a mostly shaded area, but when I turn it I get that good earthy smell. I know not all of its composted because I keep adding scraps, but how do I get out the compost that is? Should I stop adding scraps until it's done, then start another one? Also, I think I used some Chinese tallow leaves in a layer of about 3 inches underneath my raised vegetable garden, and so far I haven't noticed any adverse affects, should I be worried? My plants are pretty large and the roots are definitely down that far, but maybe the leaves aren't decayed enough to affect them yet.