digging in

I have had this long-running obsession with composting. Understand, this started way before it became trendy. Five years ago, I became a family pariah when I was an hour late to an amusement park outing because I was standing in line to buy a composter. To add insult to injury, we lived in, duh, an apartment, so I couldn’t even use the thing and had to store it in Joe’s parents’ basement. But in my defense, I did score this $100 Earth Machine for $20.

This weekend, while the guys puttered around inside, I set it up. It’s not the most attractive thing to have in your yard, but it’s actually pretty genius how it works. You dump your yard waste and food scraps in the top, and shovel fresh compost out the bottom.

The biggest trick is keeping the ratio of carbon to nitrogen (green to brown) at 30:1. I’ve been scavenging for the right amounts of green (grass, fresh leaves, weeds) versus brown (dried leaves, grass), which has led to a lot of wisecracks, especially about the brown.

It’s proven tough to find enough material to get it started. Our lawn has been the Great Dust Bowl for weeks, so getting green grass is not as easy as it should be. I’m planning to import some from Joe’s parents. I think they are still befuddled by my obsession, as I am slightly myself. I don’t really garden, so I don’t know why composting excites me. But I was sufficiently psyched to order this beauty of a compost pail this morning. I’ve had my eye on it for a long time and can’t wait to get to use it.


One response to “digging in

  1. We had the same one – I think we paid $40 for ours, bought it from our town. We found that you need to give it a “stir” once in awhile.

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