Thursday, March 26, 2009

Com Post

Make that compost. I was lazy last fall. I raked up a bunch of leaves out front and left them there, in a pile, over the winter. Of course, the pile blew around during the winter months and some of it started to decompose. So on Monday I got out there and re-raked and transported all the leaves to the compost pile as I should have done last fall.

The left side of the compost bin. The right side needs attention.

You can see a thin line of green leaves toward the bottom of the pile. Everything above that line is what went into the pile on Monday. It'll soon sink down and start to rot into compost.

When I first started composting in San Francisco, we got ourselves a small urban composting container for the back yard. The instructions were full of all kinds of "recipes" for compost, including lots of advice for making it work better and faster. Although composting is a natural process, it takes more or less time depending on the size and nature of the stuff that goes in.

But at the end of the little booklet was the key, the natural secret, that negated all the fancy stuff that came before. It read, simply, "Compost happens."

That's been my motto ever since.


  1. i've always been terribly neglectful with my compost and it has always rewarded me kindly!

  2. Mitch has a "Compost Happens" sweatshirt (that I bought for him a dozen years ago or so). We put in raspberry canes this year and were delighted to find out that they love the chunky, unbroken down stuff. Now a use for that! We're working a lot in the beds right now. We've already done some planting, and the winter stuff is almost gone (cabbage and broccoli remain), and then it's full-bore gardening time!

  3. "COMPOST HAPPENS" I love that expression. I shall use it whenever I am otherwise tempted to use "S**t happens", like today, when a 95-year old patient peed on one of my office chairs. I think I'll have a t-shirt made which says "I'd rather be gardening".

  4. The only special thing we have to do for our compost is to put wire under the container and a good lid over it. Otherwise, Templeton and his pals (think Charlotte's Web) use it as a buffet.

  5. I used to compost, and felt good to do so.
    Someone could not stand it; fearing the neighbors would 'talk'.

  6. tansy, that's the beauty of compost!

    ginny, you guys are amazingly productive. But you have much warmer summer days than we do.

    anon, why not a t-shirt that says compost happens? ;)

    chris, we don't need the wire or the lid out here. Just a barrier to keep the dog out.

    urspo, those neighbors have too much control... we put all our kitchen scraps into the compost pile as well. The neighbors don't mind. They don't even know.

  7. I think I'll have one of each - why not - someone has to keep the economy going.

  8. Where compost happens worms happen....



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