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Monday, June 13, 2011

A Post About Compost

The 1950's era suburban house where I grew up was a miracle of modern appliances, including a garbage disposal. It growled and chewed and made our table scraps disappear in a dangerous display of power. "Watch out," my mom would warn. "That thing will take your hand right off!"

During college we lived in any old place we could find and none of them had garbage disposals, so we bagged up our scraps old school and tossed them in the trash.  When we bought an old house and remodeled it, our friend Chuck said, "You don't want one of those! It'll mess up your septic tank. And they always break down!" Remembering my dad lying underneath the kitchen sink cursing and taking the Lord's name in vain brought that all back home.

We still don't have a garbage disposal at the new place. A compost pile or an outdoor composter would attract undesirables, like bears and skunks. I don't want bears here. Ms. Pearl doesn't either. Besides, I wanted year round compost and I didn't want to go out in freezing weather to turn the compost pile.

So we bought this.

It's an electric composter. I can make compost year round! Right now it's on the entry porch.

 The compostibles go inside. Add some baking soda for odor control and sawdust pellets (or sawdust) to keep the stuff from being too gooshy. The machine has a heater and mixes itself every four hours or so. 

There is a slight odor, kind of like mushrooms or soil. Since I am a freak about smells, when it gets cold and we need to close the windows here, the composter will move to the outside porch or the garage. I like my house to smell like citrus. Or the beach. Or a bakery.

This is how it looks after just 3 days. Today I will push a button on the front of the composter to move the composted stuff to a lower bin where it will rest for a couple days. When the bin is full, I will be the compost fairy and sprinkle it on my garden!

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