Monday, June 30, 2008

Compost This

I subscribe to Daily Candy and they had featured this a while back:
And indoor composting machine. Now when I first showed this to Greg, I don't think he realized I was serious. He advocated us purchasing the one that handles dog poop. I really wanted to try this indoor composting, but am not ready for the dog-doo part. I cook enough that we might need a 2nd unit. If it comes to that, I'll get pet friendly unit. Despite his taunting, I went ahead and got it.
Getting it was a 2.5 week ordeal, as they had the wrong address, so my credit card wouldn't work. Then it was shipped ground from Chicago. Thankfully it wasn't waterlogged with the flooding out there. It got to my office, but I was in Washington DC on a business trip. Finally, it came home with me Friday.
I had been saving compostable bits from my cooking from Wednesday on in preparation for its arrival and use. Only after I eagerly opened it up, I learned that I was going to need 2 cups of topsoil from a garden where plants were happily growing to provide the microbes for natural composting.
Where am I, the downtown, city dweller going to find that? I could just imagine getting caught dirt-robbing the neighborhood gardens. Or worse, I could get dirt that was overly chemical & pesticide laden.
I did what any woman does when in need of help, I called my dad. Greg and I were going to be up in Sausalito looking at possible apartments Sunday afternoon and I figured I could stop by and get some dirt from his garden.
It was an odd phone conversation, "You want what?""What are you going to do with the dirt?"
Once they understood, they happily agreed to provide me with the needed dirt. When we stopped by, they did express concern that their dirt was inadequate. Of all things, they were unsure if their dirt was dirty enough. I didn't know one could be self conscious of garden dirt and, to their credit, they did reflect upon where I should dig for dirt in their garden. There were offers to supply additional dirt if we found that the initial batch was lacking.
But we got it home, I put the dirt in, added the suggested 2 tablespoons of baking soda and 4 days worth of scraps - it only said to fill it 1/2 way, but I had so much! I may have over-filled it. Everything went in, the plug was plugged in and then it didn't do anything. I just sat there. Then, at about 10 pm, after we were rosy on our wine we hear what we think is a distant siren. We get our lazy tushes off the couch to go close the front door - thinking that it was coming from the outside - as we pass through the kitchen, I realize it is on our new nifty composter. Inside it was churning.
Against the instructions, we openned the lid to see all the goodies getting turned about. It looked very soil like - I think that is due to both the soil and the coffee grounds. I was proud.
This morning I'm trying to resist opening it up again. There is a little engine in there keeping teh compost warm and turning at specified intervals. My mom has signed up for compost and I think my father & Cathy will take some. I should be able to deliver a wonder bread loaf sized output of fertilizer every 2 weeks.
The funniest part of all this, in my mind, is how I cannot utilize my product. It will need to dry & cure before getting used inside. Since I have no drying area, I'm just stuck producing this quality, organic compost and giving it away. It is good for the planet.

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