Friday, August 14, 2020

Five on Friday: Benefits of Composting (including some of the lesser-known variety)

Years ago I opened my oldest daughter's lunch box after school to find she had brought her clementine peels home. When I asked her why she did that, she said because there was no compost bucket at school. (That's my girl!)

Clearly we've been dedicated composters for a long time, loyally keeping all of our decomposable waste separate from actual trash. But we rarely actually use the "black gold" (it doesn't always refer to oil!) we produce. This year I did and as the summer goes on, I find myself only appreciating compost more and more. Here are some well- and lesser-known benefits of home composting:

1. Sending less to the landfill! It's been a silly little point of pride of mine that our family of seven has the smallest garbage can on the block. This is made possible by recycling and composting.

2. Having yet another chore to assign to the kids that they're going to whine about. Honestly, it wouldn't be fair if cleaning the toilets was the only gross thing that they all hated and fought about doing, I have five kids after all, I need multiple yucky tasks to dole out and dumping the compost bucket fits the bill.

3. It's nostalgic! I find that having a compost pile--and some children who don't properly mix the latest addition into said pile--is a great way to have a place my naughty little dog to run off and disguise herself as Harry the Dirty Dog, a beloved book from my childhood.


4. Sifting the pile for that dark black nutrient-rich humus (one m. Not the hummus that you eat) for my gardens has really provided me with ample opportunity to geek out over how freaking magic and purposeful it all is: take the seeds and skins that you don't want to eat, save them from the landfill and then get really good soil to grow more things to eat?! Mind blowing.

5. The best recent reason to love composting: mystery plants! As I said, I did use humus in my gardens this year: in my potted vegetable plants and to just fill in some bare looking spots in various landscaped areas throughout the yard. Well--even though I sifted the compost and it seemed like everything was fully broken down, apparently some sneaky little seeds survived. Now I have bonus plants in weird places, like a tomato in the pachysandra. I know I should pick it but seeing it makes me smile and the deer are going to eat it anyway.

I took a few of the mystery seedlings and planted them in their own pots and now I've got some tiny baby somethings! Watermelon? Cantaloupe? Pumpkins? We still aren't 100% sure but every I look outside and see these mystery plants growing I geek out a little all over again.

If you know for sure what this is, please don't tell me. The mystery is the fun.
If you know for sure what this, please don't tell me. The mystery is the fun.
 


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