The Unending Gift of Compost

 

A picture of compost soil

Image via Wikipedia

 

Compost is amazing. I spent a few hours yesterday sifting the last couple months worth of the compost I’ve been collecting. Or rather, I’ve collected vegetable scraps and they are now sweet-smelling compost.  I use a 35-gallon plastic trash can for my main compost collector. I drilled holes in the side and bottom to provide air flow, and I roll it around once a week to keep it aerated. I also have a less-useful metal trash can with no holes drilled in it that I use when the first collector fills up. Because of the lack of air flow, the compost in the metal can gets pretty stinky, but I stir it around as best I can with a stick once a week. Yesterday, I poured all the compost onto two tarps in the morning and let it dry all day before sifting it. When I returned late afternoon with my sifting frame (some hardware cloth stapled to scrap 1x2s), the sun was already hanging low in the sky. Summer is truly waning. How pleasant then, to come across the mass of corn cobs and to remember sitting around the fire when Heather, Jonathon, Eliza, and Simon came to visit. We laid the fresh corn on the coals, then pulled back the shucks and silk to eat up. (The corncobs, of course, were not yet decomposed and went back in the collector.) Sifting farther, I came across a wine cork and remembered the lovely bottle I shared with Sigrid when she visited. Digging still deeper, I found the stem from last year’s jack-o-lantern, hardly decayed at all. I thoroughly enjoyed my unorthodox excavation of food scraps. It’s practically just a bonus that I now have about 40 gallons of compost in the basement, waiting to be mixed with potting soil or applied to the garden.

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