Where do we go from here?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Joy of Composting

Eating as we are has a side effect that could either be considered a drawback or a gift, I suppose.  It is the  enormous amount of organic waste that piles up daily in the compost bucket by the kitchen sink.  Everything goes into it: peels, cores, shells, rinds, trimmings, grinds, teabags, even used paper towels and coffee filters. The paper towels are made of recycled paper and the coffee filters are unbleached (most of the grinds go right under the roses as food for them). So, drawback or gift?  For me, no question - a wondrous gift.  All of this stuff goes into the compost bin in the backyard, where it gets mixed with mulched up leaves and plant clippings.  We just mulched up leaves last week, and they aren't too well-incorporated into the pile yet, but they will be soon.

The center of the pile is full of fat happy worms, turning cantaloupe rinds, peapods, wilted cabbage leaves, onion skins, and old tea leaves into black gold.  We've been here five years now, moved the compost bin with us from Delaware (although we did leave the compost there, dumped it out into what had been our big vegetable garden, and our neighbor came over and scooped much of it up for his garden across the street), and started filling it up from scratch that summer.  Since then I have emptied it several times, using the resulting product in garden beds, planters and pots.  It is very full right now, with the addition of the leaf mulch, but it really needs some time to cook before I can use it. Workng on the compost always makes me so happy, makes me feel connected to everything I love: the earth and the cycle of life and death that is constantly happening all around us.  Because of the drought we're in and the recurring cold weather, weather which froze the emerging leaves on several much-loved plantings,  I haven't really done much planting yet this year. I think June will be my big gardening month, and hopefully there will be some loads of compost ready to go. The slogan "Compost Happens" is a fun euphemism for the real phrase, but in fact, it doesn't just happen.  It entails some knowledge and a bit of work:  Here are some links to sites that can get you started on your own Black Gold project if you don't already have one going, and maybe give you some tips if you are not quite sure what you're doing:

Compost Mania offers both advice and equipment (although really, equipment is nice, but optional).
Composting Section on Journey To Forever  advice, philosophy, The Big Picture
163 Things You Can Compost - A fun list of just exactly what it says.

-- "Man's work with Nature that furthers Nature's aims is the work that rewards him the best." (I-Ching)


duoseraphim said...


Kim & Susan

marigolds2 said...

I guess you think it's funny to post this with no further info - duoseraphim gets me nowhere, no matter how much I'd love to be in touch with the two of you. I've been looking for you for ages now - you're not on facebook, although I am - you could email me with your life stories for the past many years, it's the same old address: marigolds2@aol.com. Or else it was Monteverdi leaving a comment from far beyond the grave. But would he have said Hi!, Kim and Susan? I think not.