Thursday, May 06, 2010

a tale of two composters

Earlier this year, the city of Nacogdoches received a grant, which paid for 180 compost tumblers. These tumblers would be freely available to Nacogdoches residents on a first come, first serve basis, provided they attend a two hour long class about the wonderful world of composting. Nathan and I missed the first round of classes but were able to slip into the last one. On Tuesday night, we headed to the county courthouse and listened as a man with a pleasantly thick East Texas accent enlightened us about dog manure vs. chicken shit, the importance of bacteria, and the correct carbon to nitrogen ratios.

You may remember that Nathan built us a composter last spring. If not, here's a refresher:

While crafty and upcycled from Dr. Pepper syrup barrels, the composter had some design flaws. Once it was full, it became very hard to turn. Also, we did not put the correct ratio of materials into the composter, which means our grass clippings and kitchen waste just kind of... rotted. Not cool. Nathan ended up dismantling this composter and we wrote it off as a lesson learned the smelly way.

The class we took Tuesday night has made us much wiser, and much more confident about our composting abilities. Yesterday, Nathan picked up our free tumbler and assembled it in less than ten minutes. Works like a charm! In a year, we have to report back to the city how many gallons of soil we create. Until then, we will be diligently collecting, composting, tumbling, and keeping all our organic refuse out of the dumpster and returning it back to the earth.

And speaking of organic matter, we got our new composter in the nick of time. I've been on a major fruit kick these last few weeks, eating five servings of apples, bananas, berries and melons every single day. I can't stop and I don't want to. As I have yet to feel any ill effects ("The proof is in the pudding," as Mary T. so delicately put it) I will continue gorging myself on fresh fruit and putting all the scraps into my composter like a good little hippie.

Fresh avocados, two for a dollar - be still my heart! And get in my belly!