Sunday, November 2, 2014


One of many nice things about our house is that we have a proper compost bin. At our previous place, a very nice but yard-less rental condo, we would put our compost stuff into special plasticky bags for the city compost, which reduced our trash by a whole bunch, but was still pretty annoying. Thanks to my parents, though--who not only bought us the bin but assembled it while they were visiting--we have this magical thing where I take what turns out to be 50% of our trash, throw it casually into a bin, and then it smells like dirt.

(All of our parents, when visiting, seem energized to do house or yard projects for some reason. One year on my younger brother's farm, my father and older brother had the urge to build a very nice outdoor shower.)

I periodically (once a month, maybe) turn the compost over, and as much insect life as you can see on the top, there is so much more underneath! Once I went so far as to try and extract some dirt from the bottom (not really worth the trouble, at the moment), and I unsettled a vast quantity of the only beetles I ever see around here, these 1.5cm grooved black thingers with small heads. The compost heap is apparently where all the tiny ants live, and I'm thrilled they have a place to be that's not in the house. More recently, millipedes appeared.

Maybe I wouldn't find this so magical if I grew up in the country. Really substantial amounts of food trash turns into a really very small amount of dirt. And it never smells like rotting food, only like dirt.

Between the compost and recycling, we put out about a half a paper shopping bag of actual trash every week. Pretty cool.

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