Let’s hop into Mr. Peabody’s WABAC machine (yes, I am definitely showing my age here) and travel to April 2008. I’d only been blogging a couple of months, and we’d just purchased and spread what quickly became known as “ass mulch” in our gardens. I wrote a mildly amusing post about it, which ended with some questions I had about what people do who produce their own compost and mulch.
“…that made me think about those people who are of a green and/or money saving disposition and make their own compost and mulch. The “why” part of that is understandable, but I have a real problem with the “how??” Where do you put it while it’s getting all, well, ripe? I can’t see keeping it in the house or garage, so do you just, like, keep a big pile of slowly decomposing crap in the back yard?…Do you fence it off and post large “Beware of Mulch” signs? Go all Martha Stewart and construct a camouflaging-yet-decorative container out of old, flowered-patterned sheets and wire coat hangers?”
Oh, if I could have only seen into the future.
At the time of that post, we had two 8′ X 4′ garden plots in our back yard where we planted a few peppers and tomato plants, as well as a nice herb garden at the eastern side of the house. The herb garden is still there, and these days those two garden plots are home to our perennials: strawberries, rhubarb and asparagus. We’ll add peppers and okra as the season progresses, and probably plant tomatoes along the southern border of our yard, where they’ll share space with some lovely gladiolas, like we did last year. (This year we’ve added 3 huge raised beds and are starting our own seeds, but that’s another story all together; maybe if next week’s Spin Cycle is “Ways You’ve Gone Off The Deep End.”)
The first year we had the gardens they did extremely well, but each year the quality of produce we’ve grown has declined. It finally occurred to us that – duh – we probably needed to start adding some sort of compost to the soil.
And my questions about just how one makes their own compost were quickly answered. Forget the flowered sheets and coat hangers – you buy these:
The reason they’re so far apart is that there was a large shrub in that space until Beloved cut it down recently – and yes, it is quite likely a third bin will be put there.
As a result of these compost bins, we’ve become rather obsessive about what goes into them, and now have a good-sized container on one of our kitchen counters where we throw coffee grounds and fruit and vegetable scraps, as well as egg shells and things hiding in the bottom of the produce bin in the refrigerator that I might have forgotten about (ahem). Beloved’s become even more obsessive over his nitrogen-to-carbon ratio, as well as the temperature (apparently our first batch never got “hot” enough). We shred white paper at the office (we’ve also added a compost bucket there and urge our employees to dump their coffee grounds, as well as their banana peels, in it), and save the fallen leaves from our trees – quite frankly, I was surprised that Beloved didn’t offer to rake all of our neighbors lawns this fall.
So you can only imagine his reaction when, on a recent visit to one of our farmers, we saw that they’d been shoveling out their barn and a large mound of what they’d been shoveling was sitting there, mixed with hay and so hot that it was literally shimmering in the cool morning air. To give Farmer Doug credit, he’s been dealing with us long enough that he was able to keep a straight face when Beloved excitedly asked him if we could take from what Farmer Doug and and his wife have dubbed Mount Manure.
My Better Half had dubbed it Some Seriously Good Shit. He’s literal that way.
We are probably the only people in the state of Ohio who drive around every Saturday morning, running our errands, with six 5-gallon pails of cow poop in the trunk of our car.
Spring has finally arrived.
For some less fragrant “Spring” spins, visit Gretchen at Second Blooming.