Our Life with Compost

We frequently mention gardening and our love of the idea of nature around this site. It is part of our plan to become sweet elderly people! It has to start somehow, so it might as well be intentionally and somewhat publicly.

We have gotten to the point where we can grow flowers and some vegetables. We remember to weed, and to water daily in the hot summer days. We even prune things, sometimes! We rely on the Farmer’s Almanacs and have at least a dozen books about gardening. It’s going pretty successfully, I think.

Confession, though: We are still kind of struggling with composting.

We Are Good at Collecting It

Our refrigerators are often full of decaying materials put into old coffee cans. This is so that we are not overrun with gnats and fruit flies while we lazily put off adding to the actual bins outside. Our bins which are stuffed full and probably needed to be emptied at some point a while ago.

Recently, we unearthed the compost by dramatically lifting off the bin and hopping away from the bugs. There was a good 2-3 inches of nutritious compost soil, topped with too many sticks, then a blanket of dry leaves.

As they say in Galaxy Quest, never give up, never surrender. So we started anew, like good sneerists, and placed the bin at the back of our yard, then filled it with new leaves, food scraps, and coffee grounds.

We also have a big tumbler compost bin, which was recently covered in flying bugs. Gnats? Mosquitoes? We accidentally left it unturned after two days of rain, and some puddled water became a nursery for bb bugs. They’re since gone, and we’ve turned it faithfully since.

We Have Wonderful Resources

In our real actual lives in the tanglible world, we have a friend who is a real expert in the field of composting. She has written a book! We have the book and it is very, very good. If you are interested in learning more about doing this thing, buy this book and love it.

You have to actually consult the book, though, which is one of our failings. I know Michelle loves composting, but we don’t want to invite her over to showcase how inept we are, sometimes. Because composting really IS easy! Look, here is how you do it:

Simple Compost Recipe

  • 1 part food scraps
  • 2 parts dry leaves
  • shovel full of the last compost or earthwormy yard dirt

Keep in mind that the leaves crumble up real small! Really get a lot in there, then mix it up a little to see how it looks. When you’re done, cover with a layer of more leaves, then poke some holes with a pitchfork or stick or something. Let the air get in there. Give the bugs some space to move around happily.

The Matter of Bugs

Roly poly pill bug potato bug things are kind of cute when it’s fewer than, say, five at a time. But when you dig in your composted pile of stuff, to see like hundreds of them spilling out — we were not psychologically prepared, to say the least.

Michelle’s book lovingly describes each kind of insect and microbe you should be seeing in there. She explains it like it’s a party, which makes it easier to understand. You begin to love the idea of there being earth buddies taking care of business. But please understand that if you are squeamish, the first time you are confronted with healthy dirt teeming with health helpers might be a shock.

In Conclusion

Composting is great! It’s so important! We won’t be discouraged even though we apparently are bumbling clowns! And please do not be discouraged in advance because we are apparently bumbling clowns.

Sneer Back

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