Friday, March 18, 2005

Back to our regularly scheduled program- trying to be better than Martha...

I am genuinely happy for Martha's arrival back into the non-prison world. I love most of her projects, even though I am a little daunted by how complicated she makes some things. But I do have a small part of me that wants to outdo her or at least match her as I take on my own home and garden projects. It keeps that part of me that is totally unlawyerly alive.

As we know from my earlier post on Martha, she loves gardening. And now that I have a new house and yard, I guess I will have to love gardening too. So like any good anal retentive over-achiever, I have set out to know everything that a good gardener knows. I bought 3 books on New England gardening, bought 11 magazines on spring planting and spring gardening, signed up for a gardening workshop at a neighborhood farm, and spent all weekend plotting out my garden (complete with flowering times and heights).

Yesterday, when I trudged into the hub's office and began complaining that gardening was sooooo complicated, I got the sense that he wasn't all that surprised. He has seen me tackle other projects, i.e. painting, like the crazed fanatic that I am, so maybe he wasn't too surprised that I was overwhelmed.

One of the new gardening tasks that I decided to take on this past weekend was composting. All the books talk about composting. Its so good for the environment, excellent for your yard, saves on your trash, and gives you the biggest most beautiful plants ever. Composting, for you non-gardeners, involves taking all your organic matter such as leaves, grass clippings, branches and vegetable scraps and putting them into a composting bin for a year. Over that year you turn over the compost as it basically rots and turns into this fabulous matter that acts as fertilizer for your garden. So this weekend I take one of our ziploc bags and proceed to fill it with our vegetable scraps. I chopped onions, into the ziploc bag the scraps went. Asparagus for dinner? Ziploc the peelings. Eggshells? Sure, why not. By the end of the weekend, my ziploc was pretty full. So I told the hubs that we needed a bin for me to start keeping my compost.

Our friends were coming over for dinner on Saturday, and he called them up and jokingly told them to bring their vegetable scraps for my compost. As we sat around the dinner table they all started raising concerns about my compost, much to my dismay. What about attracting animals? Apparently rotting food might do that. What about flies? I suppose that could be a problem. What about your neighbors? Yes, I guess the previously mentioned animals and flies could be a nuisance to my neighbors.

Maybe I haven't thought the compost thing through. We don't have an acre of land, we actually have a small backyard that isn't far from our neighbor's houses. I guess I thought that I could keep the compost in my garage or workroom, but I didn't think about the smell. So I called around for people selling compost. It is somewhere in the vicinity of $30 a bucket!

I think the neighbors may have to put up with the rotting smells, scavenging animals and swarms of flies. That, or I need a new estate in Katonah, NY. All donations will be accepted. Including vegetable peels.


zeebah said...

I used to run the composting program for our community garden.

If the mix is right between "browns" and "greens", you shouldn't have any flies. It should be something like a ration of 30-1 browns to greens. Also, you might want to look into something to contain the compost- either building or buying. You can also line the bin with chicken wire, which will deter rodents. Here's a really good website that talks about it:

Don't let them deter you!!

halloweenlover said...

great website! I am going to look into making a mixture that won't stink. Thanks for the advice.

Take THAT Martha!

Anonymous said...

Have you ever seen Asparagus this BIG
They grow up to 15in long and 2in wide.
organic gardening