We have learned quite a bit, including which foods that we should probably not put in there ... lets just say about 1,000 maggots is not great for the stomach!
Here is a quick guide to composting - Composting 101 if you shall:
1) It's cheaper than buying mulch at the store
2) It's decayed organic matter - the best stuff you can give your plants
3) Compost feeds your soil and therefore prevents disease, retains moisture and buffers pH
4) It's free!
How to Compost
1. Gather browns and greens. Gather high-carbon “brown” materials (such as dry leaves, hay, straw and nutshells) and high-nitrogen “green” materials (such as fresh grass clippings, weeds, coffee grounds, vegetable and fruit scraps, hair, and seaweed). Aim for about two to three times as much brown material as green, by bulk.
2. Build the pile. Create a freestanding pile or use a compost bin, alternating layers of brown and green materials. A 3-by-3-by-3-foot pile is a good size.
Work in a shovelful or two of garden soil to introduce beneficial bacteria. Moisten each layer as you build the pile. The finished pile should feel wet but not soggy. Cover loosely with a tarp.
3. Turn, turn, turn. To ensure that the materials decay quickly, turn the pile about once a week, working from the inside out and from bottom to top. If the materials feel dry, add a little water. After one to two months, you should have finished compost, which will be dark, crumbly and odor-free. Screen out any large clumps before use.