Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The Raccoon Informs Me That It's Time to Write About Compost (with Curses!)

Each morning this week I've come out to find the compost bin open and unidentified compost missing. The raccoons, with their nimble fingers, can slide back the admittedly easy catch on the lid and then flip it off. (In fact, writing this at 9:45pm, I think I hear someone knocking around out there right now. Fucker.) Of course, the sliding catch is intended more as a defense against a strong breeze or random chance, as opposed to a determined omnivore who smells the delicious aroma of coffee grounds atop macaroni and cheese.

But that's not what I'm here to talk about; let's just leave the raccoons to their mischief, shall we? They're welcome to their little bit of rotting vegetation, if that's what it takes to keep them from breaking into the car and stealing the current book on CD. The little scamps. No, I'm here to talk about the joy of composting. Did I say joy? I meant joys.

The main thing is that between recycling (plastic, paper, glass, metal), the cloth diapers, the cloth dinner napkins, and the composted food scraps, we have to SEARCH THE HOUSE to find things to throw in the regular garbage. Actually, that's not true: food packaging, paper towels/tissues, and cat shit will do nicely, thanks. But that's really about it. And as primary garbage-taker-outer, I have to say that it's an improvement over the old forklift and manual labor process. The sanitation guys seem to be happier, too -- they've stopped pelting our car with leftovers, anyway.

Second, though, all that rich foody goodness, plus some leaves and grass clippings, decays into the most incredibly rich, dark, trufflacious stuff, bursting with nutriments for the plants. This year I planted a single tomato plant in a patch of soil dug in with last summer's compost. Okay, yeah, every tomato had blossom-end rot (we ate some anyway), but we got four crossbred pumpkin-zucchini that grew out of the compost. And that's fuckin' spooky.













7 comments:

superblondgirl said...

My mom has a composter, too, and is obssessed with it. To the point where she is composting PIZZA BOXES. Seriously. It's like she turned into a hippy overnight.

Magpie said...

My mother composts everything, and I swear, what she doesn't compost she puts in her "berm". It's a goddamn landfill over there.

Bill Braine said...

MY Mom used to keep a cardboard milk carton on the countertop and toss all the food waste into it. Maybe they should call it MOMpost! Hahahahahahaurgkh.

wcs said...

We have a special can in the kitchen for compostables. The challenge is keeping the dog out. Then, when it's full, out to the twin piles in the back behind the shed.

Here in France there are no racoons (except at the local zoo) so we have no lids and no worries.

Jkaur said...

any ideas on how to get the raccoons from getting in there? I have a bin with a lid and access panels also. But I don't like the idea of feeding wild potentially rabid animals.

Bill Braine said...

I haven't tried to secure the compost, but I also have a garbage can with a flip-top lid. When they get into that I put a cinder block on it for a couple of nights; that often deters them for a month or so.

stone said...

Very nice post...
I liked how you tied in your book on cd and the barbque picture!

Stupid racoons!
On my compost page I suggest grilling the varmints... After them thangs dun busted into yer home n scattered all yer cooking stuff all over the garden, you get a little more concerned about gitten shut of them...