Friday, May 13, 2011

"Got Worms?"

Happy Friday 13th!  I've been awake far too long today so my rambling may be more "rambly" than usual... bear with me. 

I recently decided to try my hand at composting.  Right off the bat I broke the first rule of composting when I "purchased" a trash can rather than use something I already had.  I had my reasons.  I didn't really know how well this would work, whether or not we would have enough waste to make this process work... and I was concerned about the poison ivy that grows vigorously in our yard winding it's way into the compost pile.  Lord knows that I don't want to be up to my elbows in compost in a few months only to find that it was laced with poison ivy oils.  

I drilled holes, for air flow, and found a location far away enough from the door to not be a pain, yet close enough to not be a smelly nuisance.  I could hardly wait to get started!

I tend to make things harder than they have to be sometimes because I take things so literal.  I couldn't seem to get past some of the composting terminology.  You read everywhere to layer it in.  "A layer of greens (nitrogen)... a layer of browns (carbon)... a layer of greens (nitrogen)... a layer of browns (carbon).  Keep it moist.... turn it... and tah-dah!  Compost!"  Well, that part sounded pretty easy until I started to over-think the process.  "The more you turn/stir your compost the faster it breaks down."  What?  Now I'm all caught up in trying to figure out how to stir/turn the pile and somehow maintain the "layers".   Duh!  Okay, after stressing over it for a few days it finally made sense.  What's important is not that they are in "layers"... but that there is more of a fairly equal measure of one verses the other.  Then just mix the heck out of them to make sure they are getting proper air flow, keep them moist and let them work their magic!  

I found that if I turned the can carefully end over end (on its top so that it was standing on its head and then flipped it upright) a couple times that it was nicely mixed and on its way to becoming healthy compost.  Yeah!  So far, it seems to be working.

Today at lunch I was telling a friend about my new interest in composting.  She said that she saves coffee grounds for a guy at work who composts.  Then her face lights up and she says... right in the middle of the restaurant... "Do you have worms?"  I laughed and said, "No, I don't".  She said that her coworker is always asking her if she needs any worms... and since she doesn't compost or garden... she always politely declines.  But now I'm thrilled that she is going to ask him to share some worms with me!  Life just keeps on getting better and better! 

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