Frugal composting
After my husband first wrapped some chicken wire around a few poles for me, I went off in search of information about composting. It sounded like a great way to reuse some of our garbage and fertilize the garden at the same time. I wanted a "recipe." Why, I don't know. It isn't like I'd ever sit down and chart what I threw in, but the compost heap was new and my enthusiasm high.

What I discovered was this:

1) People will pay a LOT of money in order to let nature run its course with their leftover spaghetti. $1000? To rot my food?

Ours isn't the best looking compost heap in the world, but that comes from having the now four year old empty the kitchen scrap collection bucket as her primary chore. Come to think of it, I bet we could spend a pretty penny on one of those, but we use a leftover ice cream bucket.

She loves the chore, but isn't strong enough to turn the soil so we tend to get loose debris on top. A quick garden chore I need to think more about before we are feeding the neighborhood rodent population from our 24 hour buffet.

2) Composting people are a bit nutty.

Not only do they have forums where people hang out to talk about what they feed their pet compost piles, but they go out in search of new sources of waste to throw in their compost.

Like whoever would have thought to ask Starbuck's for their leftover coffee grounds just because they heard it was good for adding nitrogen to your compost? Or would start taking home the garbage from work? Or would ask the grocery store for rotten vegetables to feed to their garden?

Crazy, crazy, crazy.

But then our chickens graduated from their mash and let me tell you our little ladies love apples. And bananas. And (please don't tell them) eggs. And just about every other kind of food waste we think to feed them. Their droppings are supposed to be like the creme de la creme of compost materials--the new black gold. But ours is currently being evenly distributed across the lawn.

And then I found a worm while turning the compost heap. And I thought about worm bins and how I've always wanted to make one. And now I'm thinking that between the worms and the chickens, I may not have any kitchen scraps left to feed my compost pile.

I'm either going to have to beg garbage off the neighbors or start hitting up the grocery store. And while I don't think I've ever purchased anything from a Starbuck's store, I may have to...

Well, I may have to admit that I'm going a little nutty as well. Maybe not to the point of spending hundreds of dollars to let nature run its course, but these little gardening projects can be a bit addictive.

Especially since it is a bit hard to mess up on just letting your food rot.

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