Today was a special day. A rare event. A momentous occasion.
Today I used compost in my garden for the first time.
I know what you’re thinking: I’m being overdramatic. I’m exaggerating. I don’t think so. This compost came from my backyard rotating composter, which is made up of kitchen scraps and plant debris that had been deposited over three years. Ever since I received the Envirocycle off my wedding registry from my sister Brenda, I had been transferring to the bin my egg shells, kale stems, potato peelings, onion skins, broccoli stalks (when I don’t use them for a soup), etc., through the spring rains and winter snows. I kept telling myself, one of these days I’m going to have to use some of this stuff. I honestly thought it might become urgent, because the bin would become too full to spin and mix. But that’s what is amazing about the biodegradation process: the mass kept shrinking down!
The composter is one of those things I have to put very little effort into. The one stipulation, which I didn’t follow religiously, is that you are supposed to maintain a ratio of 50% “green” (the kitchen scraps) and 50% “brown” (dry leaves, grass, sawdust). Perhaps that is why my compost was so wet. Still, I am confident that composting has made a significant different in reducing the garbage output of my house. It is something I recommend to anyone–anyone, of course, with a house and a little yard space (though I suppose it is possible to store one on an apartment deck or patio. There are also places, like Greenmarket in NYC, that take your food scraps and compost them for you).
I decided that this spring, the second one at our house, would be the time to harvest at least some of the rich, fertile matter. So today I attempted to “sift” out some usable dirt. Here it is, eggshells and all!
And here is my tomato garden as of May 27, 2013. Just you wait until the picture from August 27!