We decided to start composting without doing any research on how to do it. Thus we began filling an old painters bucket with food scraps. No meat or milk or anything, but veggie and fruit scraps , egg shells, some coffee grounds, etc. We put a piece of plywood on top as a lid with a brick to keep it on, and left it slightly askew to allow air inside. Anyway we haven't really been turning it, or adding anything to it other than the food scraps. After sitting there for a couple of months, it is now a mass of black slime with maggots woven through it. It smells like sewer.
My question is, is it salvageable for use in a good compost pile? Or have we botched the experiment so badly that we need to somehow dispose of this very stinky quagmire?
I realize we should have educated ourselves before filling the bucket, but we went about it a bit backwards. I have since been told that we need to have a bin or structure that allows for air to move through the pile, we need to add dirt or sawdust or leaves, and we need to tend it and turn it. But tell me, given where we are now, can we redeem our muck from here, or do we need to educate ourselves and then start over?