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Fix the Mix

March 14, 2011

This weekend the sun came out, and with it came warmth. It’s finally turning into the season during which the two of us pretend like we’re farmers and spend the days outside trying to work the land we have. Working the land involves weeding, landscaping, mulching, a bit of vegetable gardening and composting. There is nothing sustaining about the work we do, but we love it still. We do this with sweaty brows, bug bitten legs, spades in our hands and dirt smudges all over our faces. Sometimes there’s nothing so refreshing as being sore and sweaty after trimming back bushes, doing some guerilla gardening on our neighbor’s neglected yard and then heading back to the front porch for a swig from a mason jar of ice-cold water, dripping with condensation.

Even though the warmth and the amount of work to do in the yard today didn’t require a mason jar of water to quench the thirst of hard work, we tackled it with vigor and gave high fives once completed. Regan brought our rakes and clippers to the front of the house. And then he rolled our stinking compost bin to the front yard.

After a winter without any yard work, we needed to fix our compost mix. Big time. It had been filled with kitchen greens, carrot shavings and coffee grounds all winter without the necessary dry stuff added to achieve the blissful balance for all those microorganisms to make dirt. We didn’t have dried leaves or brown grass clippings to add to the mix all winter and instead of going out to grab some straw to even out the balance, we let it sit and slowly stink all winter. We only realized how much we’d neglected our poor dirt pile-in-progress this winter when removing the lid today and nearly being knocked over by our compost’s unearthly smell. Good thing we have absent neighbors because we definitely smelled the part of farmers for a moment. But then we started cleaning up the debris in our front yard and piling heaps of dry materials into the bin, evening out our ratio of ingredients. Now all we need is few more months of sitting and warming, and our compost should be perfect by mid-summer. It’s always such a pleasing thing to unload heaps of rich, dark soil into our landscaping beds once it’s ready. We love making things, even if it’s only soil.

As we raked away the dead leaves and grasses that had piled up over late fall and winter, we unearthed sprouts of all kinds eagerly popping up. They’d been hunkering down and hiding under the warm blanket of debris that had protected them all winter.

Learn more about composting here, here or here. It’s quite satisfying, I can assure you.

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 14, 2011 3:48 am

    Lovely photos! Glad your compost pit is underway! It’s always nice when you recycle by composting. You really do the earth several favors in the process!

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