Friday, July 8, 2011


I like dirt. I don't know why - maybe it's just a thing. One of Chrissie's favorite anecdotes is that the part of the garden that I was most enamored with when we bought the house was the composting. Not the fruit trees, herbs, or veggies, but the composting. Yeah, I was pretty intent of getting started right away, and yeah, I'm still trying to talk Chrissie into starting a third compost garbage can. I'm into compost because I know that if you want to grow good food, you have to give it the right conditions. Good sun, sufficient water, and good dirt.

Composting is pretty darn easy. That's because you're just letting nature do its thing. The "art" of it involoves managing the process so that it happens in the quickest way possible. I'm not going to tell you how to do it in this blog. There are a ton of places you can go to for that information. For you lazy searchers out there go here. That'll get you started. I will talk about little tips I've picked up here and there and relay funny stories involving our compost.

I am of the opinion that anyone who grows stuff should compost. Even if the "stuff" is just a lawn. It's not because I'm on a crusade to turn everyone into linen-wearing tree-huggers, but because it makes a lot of sense. Creating your own compost saves you from having to go out and buy dirt or fertilizer all of the time. This ultimately means you are saving money. It also saves you money on the other end by reducing the amount of garbage you have taken away.

To give a concrete example, the amount of composting we do equals about half a cubic yard every year. If I were to buy that at my local nursery, that would be about $20.00. On the garbage side, Chrissie and I can skate by using the smallest size garbage can and we do not need a yard waste bin. That is a savings of $60.00 a quarter. $20 of it being the difference between the small garbage can and the next size up, and $40 being the cost of using a yard waste bin. $260 saved. It's modest, but I think it's pretty great because I just got $260 from garbage.

I think that the other thing about composting that appeals to me is that it makes me feel more connected to the land that I'm living on. I feel that way because I take part in shaping and creating it. It's a good feeling to have. It's real and there's a sense of permanence about it. So, even if Chrissie and I leave this place one day, I'll know that I left this place better than I got it, and maybe, some of what we've done will stick around and thrive.

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