Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Compost Happens

One my favorite local newspaper columnists is Adina Sara, who writes "The Imperfect Gardener" over at the MacArthur Metro. She lives about four blocks southeast of me, so that's pretty local (although our neighborhood is rich with writers - Ericka Lutz to the north of me, and Elmaz Abinader maybe a hundred yards south).

Adina has now published a memoir of her garden called "The Imperfect Garden" which you can buy at Laurel Bookstore, Amazon, or through Adina's site linked above.

I was just poking around my back yard and peered into the compost box I started in the summer of 2007, just before I was diagnosed with this latest bout of cancer. I managed to add kitchen scraps and yard trimmings to it for a while. Then last winter I left the lid off because I could see it was way too dry. I also added a few spades of clay from the weed patch in the back.

No matter how lackadaisical you are about compost, your pile will eventually turn into decent mulch. Today the core of the heap is rich black gooey stuff: yum. It's surrounded by undigested dry leaves and weeds though. Some people might stir their compost to get it to rot evenly. Not me. I am probably going to spade up the good stuff from the middle and start adding more kitchen scraps. I'll speak to the gardener again about dumping the grass clippings in as well. And guess what - I let my boys pee on the compost heap. Yes I do. You don't think that's any worse than what the cats, raccoons, skunks, squirrels and roof rats do all over the place, do you?

Compost happens.

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