Phoebe wants to know what I have in the container by my sink. Well, brace yourself. It’s probably one of the least aesthetically pleasing features of my kitchen, but I’m happy to tell you about it anyway. I’m assuming that you’re asking about this old pitcher with the blue lid that showed up in the background of the photo of Sophie with the chocolate-face, although I know it’s been in the background of a picture or two in the past.
It’s my compost container. Where I keep my vegetable scraps, egg shells, leftover non-animal-product food instead of throwing it in the trash. We used to put the coffee grounds in there, too until we recently got our permanent-filter machine which I guess is easier to dump in the trash can than in the pitcher. I haven’t asked Joe about it exactly, because I don’t want to rock the boat of his early-morning routine. I’m just thrilled to wake up to hot coffee already made in the morning. I’m a bit embarrassed to show my compost pitcher off looking quite so full and *nasty*, but this time of year when it is bitter cold outside, we sometimes go several days before it gets out to the bin in our backyard.
That’s the black thing next to the corner of our garage…
Sorry for the lame picture, but it’s freakin’ cold out, and I didn’t want to get all bundled up to step outside and snap a decent photo. I’m sure those of you who’ve been around for a while have noticed it in my summertime snapshots of the kids.
Anyway, it may seem kind of gross, but it’s not so bad really. It makes me feel kind of happy every time I put something in my bin instead of in the trash. I mean, we all know we’re sending the Earth straight to hothouse hell. We all wish we could do more to live green, right? Well, this is one tiny thing I do that’s pretty darn easy, but it saves the fuel of the trash trucks carrying it away, it saves space in the landfill, it reduces the number of plastic trash bags I use to line my kitchen garbage every year by at least a few.
I’m always amazed at how no matter how much vegetable matter I put into my compost bin, it always seems to settle down and turn into fine, rich dirt at the bottom. Some day we will build a raised-bed garden and then I will use my compost in there. (For now, I’m afraid to have a garden in my yard because the previous owner of our house supposedly dumped all kinds of nasty chemicals in the yard, and we are in an area of town with a history of potentially polluting industry. I need to either build a deep, raised bed or have expensive, non-standard soil testing done.)
Anyway, I was a little leery of composting before I bought the bin and started doing it. Joe was even more worried about the experiment. The bin at our last house didn’t work out too well because I made the mistake of putting sticks and raspberry canes in there, which didn’t decompose quickly enough. This time, it’s working out much better. It doesn’t smell bad or attract vermin because we don’t put meat products in there. It does usually hold quite the cloud of fruit flies during the summer, but at least they stay in there eating all our waste food instead of clouding around the yard.
I think that’s about all there is to tell. Except that I’d keep the thing hidden under my sink, and usually do put it away before guests come over, but there’s not really room for it under there, and it’s inconvenient to open up the child lock and dig it out every time I want to drop a carrot peel or egg shell in.
Thanks for asking, Phoebe! I’m sure you weren’t the only one wondering what that disgusting mess could be.