Sunday, May 2, 2010

How does your garden gorw? Part 9: Composting.

I am almost a hippie. There I said it. I mean I wear deodorant and and a bra, but I am seriously almost a hippie. Ask my family, friends and especially my husband. I thought it was rude to be called this at first. Then it turned into being funny and to be I totally own that word. Ha ha. No, really. For instance I have been unsuccessfully trying to have a compost pile for a couple of years now. Want a chuckle? Keep reading.

First off, composting is awesome. Tons and tons of garbage that goes to the landfill every week could be composted. Veggie and fruit peelings, pits, seeds, etc. You can dump in your coffee grounds and eggshells. I just wouldn't add animal products like meat, bones, feces, and the like. Just remember greens and browns. Greens being the produce and lawn clippings. Browns being leaves, dirt, straw, woodchips and sticks/twigs. Your pile needs some moisture too. It should feel like a damp, wrung out sponge. The bacteria and insects feed on the food (scraps) you give it. It's ready when it's dark brown and earthy. If you garden adding compost is a must. Your garden will thrive from all of the natural nutrients. You can buy fancy composting bins, but they are pricey. You can start a pile almost anywhere outside. You can even buy a worm composter (called vermicomposting) and they eat the scraps and their poo is the compost. Nice, eh? Whichever route you want to take doesn't matter. If we can reduce what goes to the landfill that's all that should matter.

I know I can totally do this, but I am more worried what others think. In order for it to work it either needs to concealed or ugly. Ugly is cheaper so I went the ugly route. Well, actually I went the sorta concealed route at first. I tried to use an extra garbage can we had. I was really excited because I thought I was so smart. A compost pile needs to be turned or it doesn't decompose everything. It would just break down the stuff in the middle. It would eventually break it all down, but I don't have years to wait for this to happen. Well turning this huge garbage can was quite a conundrum. I decided that bungee cords would help keep the lid on so I didn't lose all of the contents. Nope. My next idea was to dump the contents into our wheelbarrow and stir it and then put it back. Um, yeh gross. What was I thinking?! And I'm pretty sure the neighbors were watching me do this. My back yard isn't private. It faces other back yards so there's nowhere to hide. There are no fences and we don't have a shed or I would put my pile there. So no matter what we do everybody sees it. You are probably thinking who cares if they see you dump your garbage out in your yard. We just so happen to have a deer problem. I feel like people think I am baiting them or something.

Fast forward to today. I have my 'compost pile' on one side of my garden plot. I wait until it is dark to go dump my gobbly gook out there. I don't turn it enough because I feel like there are a million eyes on me. I shouldn't feel silly doing such things in my own yard. I just worry too much what other's think. Maybe part of it is that I think they might be laughing at me or worse putting me down for this. I am trying to make the world a better place and some people just don't see it that way. My other half thinks I am pretty goofy about this stuff. He hates that I hang socks and jeans out to dry so they get crunchy (to get off the subject) and that I'm trying to compost. He thinks I recycle too many things. It bugs him that I have the county recycling lady in my email contacts (because I have an endless amount of rights and wrongs to ask her and we are trying to get Recycle Bank off the ground in my area.) Now that I got that off my chest, do you compost or know people who do?  Any input would be much appreciated. I really want to hear from all you hippies out there. Ha!

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