Sunday, November 20, 2011

Another tale from the compost bin

Behold, we have a new compost bin. Last year sometime we had a storm with winds that broke limbs off the trees. One branch landed on the lid of the compost bin and made a hole in it (see photo below). For months and months we just carried on with the bin in that condition. After all this would allow some moisture into the bin as we had not always been good about remembering to keep the contents moist and that was slowing down the process.

But the downside of the hole was that chipmunks or squirrels would get in and choose some tasty morsel to eat from the array of kitchen vegetable scraps and the like. They would drag it out and sit on the lid and have their picnic. The next morning our dog, the tracking labrador, would go straight to the bin area to sniff out who had been there overnight. Despite the fence we had erected to keep him away, he would thrust his head through the fence and attempt to rescue the tidbits left by the picnic party. A few weeks ago after one colorful throwup on the driveway ten minutes after he had visited the compost bin zone I decided I had had enough. Despite it being well into fall I headed out to the stores to see if I could buy a new bin. And I did find one.

Here you can see portions of the disgraced old bin. I delegated the chore of putting together the new bin and emptying the contents of the old bin into the new bin and headed out to my quilt group sewing bee. No sooner had I arrived than there was a call on the cellphone from my son to tell of the treasure he had found at the very bottom of the compost bin.

Yes, the lost sink stopper! For a number of months I had been wondering what could have happened to the sink stopper for the second kitchen sink. There have been a variety of people through my kitchen in the past several months and I thought someone had carefully put it away for me and I really must take the time to search for it. But all my quick searches had come up with nothing. Until Saturday.

Now, you'd think that having found this treasure it would have been triumphantly carried inside, cleaned and returned to it's rightful place wouldn't you. But when I got home after dark and asked where it was I got a vague reply; "it might be in the wheelbarrow in the garage or it might still be outside". So this morning I had a hunt and yes, there it was, waiting quietly in the piles of leaves on the ground to be found for the second time.

We decided to locate the new bin outside the area that the dog goes (he has an "invisible fence") to make it much less possible for him to browse who has been visiting the bin overnight. Here you can see it is close to the bigger compost area where I dump the big loads of leaves and plant materials. The open pile takes much longer to break down. I am trying a new system - I have a fenced enclosure divided in half. One year I will fill one half and then leave it to "cook" while the next year I fill the other half.

So there is plenty of material to create new "tales from the compost bin". And in the meantime, as you can see, I have a lot more raking and gathering of leaves to do before the winter weather settles in.

1 comment:

  1. This is a fun tale! Norris has declined the idea of a compost bin for us on account of the possible nuisance it might make of our wild neighbors in the woodlands. Perhaps he might consider a closed system like yours if not your newly sophisticated open one.


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