Monday, December 29, 2008

When Good Compost Goes Bad

I've been having issues with my compost, lately. Like, mostly that I have been completely ignoring it. I wish I had a picture of the compost container that I kept in my kitchen but refused to dump; it sat sealed on the counter next to the sink, becoming a scientific experiment in anaerobic decomposition of food scraps. Finally, the old man put it out in the carport, where it was conveniently forgotten for another two months (I think by that time it had been sitting on the counter for about two months).

In the meanwhile, while swearing to never open that container and just let it go, I was given another compost container at the Sustainability Fest at the Hwy 441 farmer's market a couple of months ago. It's pretty awesome -- it's a small, black bucket with lid and handy handle for skipping with it to the compost bin (see photo). And I vowed to make good on my commitment to composting by emptying this one out more often. And I've been fairly good about that.

In fact, I just dumped BOTH containers in the compost bin mere moments ago. What?! you gasp, BOTH containers? Yes. And the four-month sealed container was as awful and disgusting as I had imagined, and more so. But I did it -- the stink from the container was too strange to describe -- I think maybe the smell of soil from the Graveyard of the Damned would be an apt comparison. And really old, smelly socks.

Man, I hope I didn't kill the compost with that crud. Also spoke with Sharon the other night who is an awesome composter (she keeps her compost bin in the freezer) and said I should be wetting my compost down more. I think I understood this intuitively but kind of hoped the measly rainfall we've had would compensate. So, after I'm over the revulsion of emptying out The Forgotten Compost Container I'll go back outside and wet it down some.
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