Eat - Dirt - Cheap!
Here in our corner of the world we are blessed with an abundance
of green leafy trees that are the envy of dry arid zones
The downside to this wondrous display of spring
and summer foliage and fall color is the problem of what to do
with the fallen remains of the leafy carcasses which cover the
streets, sidewalks, lawns and gardens if left un-collected.
These wet, sticky lumps of slippery mess freeze in the winter and
create all sorts of driving hazards and logistical (as well as
political) nightmares for the public officials responsible for the
elimination of debris.
I feel sad for the people who complain about
the cost of collection and the ones who sweep them to the curb and
are surprised by how long it takes for someone else to
dispose of their problem. These are probably the same people who
stand in line to buy topsoil, soil conditioners and squash. As for
myself, I gather mine on a tarp, drag them to a designated spot
next to my garden area, mow them to smithereens, then blow
'em into a pile with my mower .
Then comes the special ingredients, the contents of
my red "biohazard bucket" where all my non-meat, non fat kitchen
waste ends up. That's vegetable peelings, coffee grounds,
refridgerater discards and anything else that's not paper,
plastic, metal or bone. This special stew stays outside in a 5
gallon bucket with a lid, near the trash and recycling bins for
ease of use. I add water to mine so as to speed the decomposition
time. Every so often I empty the smelly, sticky, colorful contents
onto or into the pile, then cover over with other leaves or a
shovel of dirt or two.
In the past I have expended much energy making all sorts of
bins, platforms, shelters lids etc. The easiest way is to let the
pile sit on the ground, add grass and kitchen waste, water
occasionally and wait for nature to work its wonders. You can
speed up the process by adding worms, compost accelerator, soapy
water, beer or fertilizer. Stirring it up with a shovel or
rototiller every once in a while helps a lot too.
Next year, this years pile will be a much
smaller heap of dirt that you can use to fill in low spots in the
yard, build up along your foundation or add to your flower garden.
I had volunteer squash grow out of mine, that monster vine
produced 10 beautiful fruit. ( I saved some seeds for next year
too!) I have also had tomatoes spring up too. I do know that if my
composting pile were working hotter, these seeds would not
survive, However I am not at all troubled by the un-expected
appearance of free fruits and vegetables in my garden.
Just think of all the waste managment dollars we would
save if more people took care of THEIR leaf problem
this way. Not to mention the reinvigoration of local soil
conditions. For me, composting is a way to clean up an unsightly
mess out front, reduce plastic trash bag usage and enjoy yummy
squash, DIRT CHEAP
1999 - 2015
Mike Morris "Workshop On Wheels
LLC." All Rights Reserved