Friday, April 17, 2009

FIELD NOTES: I have a compost bin...

Not your usual TGIF (the end of Spring Break)

...of chicken wire and pressure-treated wood at the side of the shade garden where red worms (the good ones for composts) are free to come and digest…banana peels, melon rinds, wilted lettuce, eggshells, coffee grounds…I flip over a season’s worth of dirt and organic scraps from the left side, sift it through the homemade screen into the storage barrel and toss what’s left (usually the last scraps added before a hard freeze) back into the right side of the bin. Left, right, left, right, lift, sift, toss…it is repetitive, physical labor, but out in the new spring air, one of my first…and most satisfying and meditative…outdoor chores. I love jumping right into the bin and filling my shoes and cuffs as I work. To gardeners, this is real ‘black gold’. I will churn it in the vegetable garden or fertilize the plants with compost tea. My father made the compost bin for me when we bought our little house fifteen years ago…and it’s still holding up…it’s still returning to the earth what belongs to the earth, and turning plain, old dirt into beautiful soil. I have a compost bin…

I have discovered there are about as many different ways to make a compost as there are to make meatloaf - and you can't screw it up! Email or leave a comment if you have any questions about simple - and free - backyard composting - I'm not an expert, but I've made plenty of mistakes!

Here are some links - when I find more I like, I'll add to the list:

Tips for the Lazy Gardener
Better Connecticut urban compost video

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