New to composting -- nothing happening
Last fall, I decided to start a compost pile so that I would have my own compost to add to my raised beds every year (and could avoid having to buy compost). My husband built a basic frame out of wood and chicken wire, and we filled the first compartment with shredded leaves from our yard. I added kitchen scraps when I had them until the snow set in and covered the pile for the winter.
I didn't expect a lot of activity over the winter, so I wasn't too surprised when the snow melted (mid-March) and most of the leaves were in the same shape as when they went into the pile. There were some food scraps still in there as well, but they were "tougher" things like citrus peels. Since then, I have been turning the pile at least once a week and added more kitchen scraps, but it doesn't seem to be heating up at all. Veggie scraps that I tossed in a month ago are still clearly visible when I turn the pile, and it's pretty cool.
I'm trying to figure out my next course of action. I don't think the bin is in the best location (it's in the back corner of our lot, downhill and very shaded) but there's not realistically anywhere else we can put it to avoid smells and rodents too close to the house. Would covering with a tarp help? Is it just a matter of adding more greens to get things moving? We are not yet ready to mow the lawn (maybe another week or so), but of course I will throw in the grass clippings when we do.
Maybe I should just give up on the pile and buy one of those "compost tumblers"?