It has been a little more than three months since I began composting. By this time, I should have my first batch of compost ready to spread in the garden. Did my alchemy experiments work to turn garbage into black gold? Not quite.
I think my ratio of brown to green compostable materials was too brown and not enough green. Some items like paper towels, coffee filters and branches were still whole after the three months. I threw them back up in the top for another round.
The interesting thing is that this month I had another type of fly infestation. I have been dealing with fruit flies off an on throughout the spring and summer. I noticed a few weeks ago a wasp like fly buzzing around the composter. My husband looked them up on WhatsThatBug.com and found out they were Black Soldier Flies. The name sounds a bit intimidating, but it turns out that they are a beneficial insect. The adults have no working mouth and only live a few days spent on finding a mate and reproducing. They lay their eggs in decomposing material and are thus drawn to the compost pile. This is where the beneficial part begins. The fly larvae are voracious eaters and hasten the composting process the same way worms do. Suddenly my compost is teeming with life and the process has sped up considerably.