I bet you’ll never guess what I love the MOST about Summer. Maybe sunsets? Great guess! Dogs not needing to ride the elevator for walks? Also a solid guess! Boat rides? Bike rides? Scenic cliff walk hikes? Ooh yes love, love those. Ocean swims? Absolutely – the cure for everything is salt water. Unhurried family meals? The best. Extra time with friends and family? Such a special part of summer. Prolonged lunches at Duryea’s with friends? So fun. Love those meals. A constant supply of fresh veggies from Don’s garden? Yes yes yes. And getting warmer.
I love all of these things about summer – they define summer, but the thing I love perhaps most of all, which I realize will be a surprise to many of you, is COMPOSTING. Yup, I am absolutely besotted with dumping a whole variety of things into our composter that with time then turns said things into the top layer of rich soil that we use for Don’s garden. It’s pretty much the closest this family will ever get to alchemy. And who doesn’t want in on a little or a lot of alchemy in their life? ME ME ME, I certainly do!
Let me backup. Of course I had heard about composting. But I had not seen it in practice until at my friend Chris S’s home. She is such a devoted composter that she does not even have an insinkerator in her brand newish home. Instead she had this cute bucket on her counter. I would watch in fascination as she filled the bucket up while she generously entertained me and a big group – often 10 or more kids and some adults. It was clearly a well developed habit and I had to learn more. She brought me out to the location of where she empties her cute bucket – a simple square container set back a little bit in the woods. Magical!
This fascination (I know I am easily fascinated) went on for quite a few years, but I never pursued it further than learning experiences in her kitchen until covid. Oh no, another Covid silver lining!!?? Oh yes, I am afraid so. As we were cooking all of our meals at home and convened as a group here was my golden compost opportunity. I spent days researching composter options – so many! I landed on one that reminded me a bit of R2-D2 flipped on his side and ordered it.
While I waited for my shiny new composter to arrive some research ensued. Per Chris, I knew the general rule was any non-processed and non cooked food scraps. So the husks from the corn, but not the cooked corn. The carrot skins, but not the carrots if they have been cooked. But then I learned there was so much more I could stuff into my hefty new cylindrical best friend…
- Paper towel and toilet rolls if cut up into smaller bits (which takes two seconds).
- Paper towels with no ick food on them.
- Coffee grinds and the coffee filters (Chris doesn’t drink coffee).
- Tea bags!!! How fun to find a place to ditch those little annoyances that make you feel bad for generating trash.
- Lint from the dryer! Crazy!
- Wine corks cut up – lots of those to throw at the situation.
- Cut flowers? Yes!
- Weeds? Heck yes.
- Pumpkins from the pumpkin carving party. Sure stuff ’em in there.
So much stuff was going into our new cute little counter bucket that I had to get a bigger bucket after our first month of the great compost experiment. And am constantly astonished how often we fill this upgraded bucket up – often twice or more a day!
The deal with my rotund composter container is that it spins and the spinning speeds up the process. Mind you this spinning is manual – and compost after a time is heavy – so consider it a mini arm and core workout as well. And there is a finite amount you can put in this composter so I quickly determined we would need to be a two composter family.
As we let our original composter do it’s thing, we needed a second one to begin loading up with all of the above listed items. We rolled composter #1 into a sunny spot in our garden (sun helps with the breakdown process as well) and rolled composter #2 into the spot where composter #1 used to dwell. Then we went back to the city where I was thrilled to be back, but desperately missed composting. So frustrating to watch perfectly good compostable material relegated to a trash can or the over used insinkerator.
At one point I suggested we should just keep all of our scraps and drive them out to our composter. You can probably imagine the crazy look my husband got on his face at this suggestion. Need to find a solution for this. Suggestions welcome.
You may be asking what did we use our COVID compost for? Happy to answer. Our COVID compost was used as the final layer of soil for Don’s backyard gentlemen’s farm. While he has had this garden for years and years it has never, ever been as productive and in such good shape as it is this year. I’ve got a counter full of zucchini’s, cucumbers, green beans and tomatoes to prove it. Compost coincidence? I think not.
If you have a home and a yard I can’t think of any reason NOT to compost. It is a win for the waste. A win for your garden (or flower pots or kitchen gardens). And it is a win for the earth. To get your very own composter, click here for some great options.
Bonus win: I love taking each and every – willing – guest on our compost operation tour in between biking, sunset viewing, and boat rides of course. 🙂 C’mon out to Montauk. I will take you on a compost tour with a bike ride chaser.