So I visited my dad in Phoenix, AZ last weekend. It was a ton of fun. There's been such a wet winter there that the landscape was so green it was nearly unrecognizable in places. We did a lot of fun things, but in my free moments I started a very pathetic beginning to a compost pile in my dad's back yard.
The main ingredient was the leaves that lay scattered all about below his tree. Alli and I raked them all to an auspicious location near the side fence and put them in a big old pile. I intended to have my brother help me pilfer some wooden loading pallets like you can find behind supermarkets to use for walls for the pile, but there was never time.
Alli and I were cooking a meal for many people on Sunday night and since we went to a farmer's market and found a ton of fresh vegetables there was a fair amount of vegetable scrap to throw on the pile (I just can't get others to share my taste for beet greens. Odd).
Since I doubt dad will produce copious amounts of vegetable waste to add to the pile, I was a little worried that the pile would be too leafy. On the other hand, he does drink a lot of coffee. And the coffee shop he frequents every day has a policy of giving away their coffee grounds to composters. My dad is a serious early bird, so I think he'll have no trouble taking advantage of this resource.
I sent him a link to City Farmer's photo-illustrated how to on composting since I didn't have time to really go through the process while I was there.
There's the link, if you want to give compost a try yourself. Drop me a line and I'll talk until I'm out of breath about all of the benefits.