Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Compost Savaged Underpants

compost bag
The two household things I was most upset to leave when we moved were my houseplants, because a house is not a home without growing things, and my compost.

The compost was kind of like a family pet. It was living, it ate anything we could find to feed it: Kitchen scraps of course, unclaimed phone books, leaves we raked out of other people’s yards... and it needed plenty of water in the dry Texas weather. It brought us untold joy because even though the bacteria colonies probably couldn’t be construed as fond of us, we were fond of them. It.
See that's the trouble with having a singular and plural pet. We miss it terribly, feeling guilty about putting our kitchen scraps in the trash. Plus the trash smells awful with bits of food in it!

Alas, I could not saddle the moving company with my compost, there was not an inch of spare room in the car, and what would we have done with a whole house full of stuff AND compost in a tiny two bedroom apartment? Reality warred against sentiment. The compost had to find a new home, and my sister wanted it anyway. I couldn’t bring the whole bin in one piece, the compost would have to be bagged, so I dumped the whole thing out to fork into bags. I was delighted by a few things:
  1. There was dirt from the bottom to half way to the top! Chunky dirt, but dirt it was! How thrilling! It could have used 6 more months, but what a good feeling to see that hard won fertile soil at the end of my labors
  2. There was so much of it. Six industrial trash bags worth of dirt were in that box. Wow!
  3. I expected it to be gross to shovel out, and no doubt it was dirty, but it wasn’t gross. I have a high tolerance for ick, and I love dirt so don’t get mad at me if you think your compost is gross. I just didn’t think mine was.
  4. I drove an hour and a half with it filling our car to capacity, when it had been sitting in the Highlander all night, and we didn’t have to roll down the windows. The only smell that was bad was a cabbage I had been lazy about the week before. The whole thing went bad in my fridge, and I didn’t shred it before I chunked it in, and obviously it had not decomposed because it was a big solid ball of odoriferous cruciforous vegetable.
  5. Finally, and this is why you are probably reading this, 3 months before, I had tossed some holey socks and underwear into the bin out of curiosity. The socks disappeared without a trace, but when I forked everything out I found this:

composted briefs

As you can see, the cotton is gone. All that is left is the elastic and the nylon thread! Poor Fruit of the Looms!
I really get a kick out of turning trash into garden gold. I love that it’s an act of redemption: Glops of kitchen goo and holey underwear turning into dirt bursting with life. I love that it’s part of the rule-the-earth mandate: Nature mulches, but does not compost by itself.

Do you compost? Why do you do it (or not)? What’s the wildest thing you’ve ever put in it?

No comments:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...