Tag Archives: compost

compost and other dirty words

I give you all permission to make the changes to your homes that you dreamed about on Thursday.  Send me pictures, ok?

I love April because I’m not behind on anything yet.  According to this schedule, I’m completely fine!  But in another month, I’ll still be looking for plants… putting up garden fence… hauling compost.  Late to the party.  I need more kids to help out around here. Make a note: have more children.

Now, your kitchen scraps, plant leaves, paper, and other organic trash has a better home than the landfill: in the compost.  You may think composting is something only manageable in the boonies, but YOU’RE WRONG.  And, I mean that in the nicest way possible.  Saturday, The Franklin Farm was host to its 2nd annual “Till -n- Turd.” Smack-dab in the center of G-Rap!  Basically, Holly convinces a bunch of people that they should come over and spread cow poop all over their yard. It’s awesome.

From Holly:  My husband and I have a “cow share” so that we can have raw milk. Basically, we own a portion of a cow and therefore have legal rights to its “by-products”  of raw milk and… manure.  Our farmer composts the manure until it’s just about the best organic fertilizer ever, and we get to pick up a truckload of it for our use.  We drive back from the countryside, through the center of the city to our little homestead with a truckload of poop. It gets spread by the bucketful throughout our yard, then tilled into the garden beds.

We’ve got three trash bins in our kitchen:

  • Reuse: That’s the compost, getting turned into soil for “reuse.”
  • Recycle: The (free) city recycling program. That is, by far, the largest bin.
  • Reduce: The regular trash goes into the smallest of the three bins, thanks to the other two.

Because of our recycling and composting and intentional shopping, it takes 2 or 3 weeks to fill a city garbage bag, even with a newborn in disposable diapers. I’d like to say it’s because we care so much about the earth, but honestly what kept us doing the separating in the beginning was the saved money and the bragging rights that our garbage had been cut down to 1/4 of what it was before was started composting and recycling. Now it’s just so normal we don’t even need motivation: it’s just the way life is.

The garden, meanwhile, is still smelling like …ahem… the country today. I know it will pay off this summer when our produce just seems to produce much more than other friends in the city with gardens. Thanks to a day of spreading composted manure around our yard, and a few days of noticing that smell, our tomatoes will be weighed down with fruit, our watermelon will produce well over a dozen fruits per plant, and the whole yard in general will be “going to town,” as they say.

Do you have a recycling and/or compost system?

At TexasNorth, we have LOTS of animal by-product.  Awesome.  You are welcome to it ANY TIME.  I’m not kidding.  I very much want a compost tumbler (like this one) that will sit neatly off the back porch and make beautiful potting dirt, but another person I live with thinks I’m crazy with a k.  That’s fine.  That’s just FINE.  Right now, the table scraps that don’t go to the barn cats or chickens go in a horribly un-cute 5-gallon bucket on the back porch.  Eventually, this bucket makes it out to the big bi-product piles and mixes in.

The unsightly bucket sits next to some very chic 30-gallon metal trash cans.  One holds aluminum and plastic soda pop cans and the other holds metal and plastic I take to the Rockford transfer station once a month. The black signs are just scrap wood painted with chalkboard paint.  The bins are large enough that I’m not changing bags every week and can handle a party or two before overflowing.

Gardening daunting to me.  I’m terrible at it.  But, help abounds.  The web is full of fun people and places that can help you grow one or 40 plants in an apartment, a 40-acre farm, or anywhere in-between.

  • My favorite gardening supplier is HERE.  I want one of everything in their catalog.  They makes me feel like I can grow broccoli, which is not true and has been proven many times… but they make me feel that way and I like them.
  • This is a great website to help you in your garden.
  • Triscuit has a super fun new website that will help you plant your own garden and talk to other folks… plus the design is cute cute cute.
  • Here’s a great site to find out more about heirloom seeds.
  • Local Harvest will help you find the closest garden to you that sells shares of their product… all you have to do is pay once a season and pick up the goods!  They also have a seed section.

So, dig in.  Get your hands dirty, plant some tomatoes on your porch if nothing else, and reap the harvest of the season.  It feels amazing, and tastes even better.