Saturday, December 1, 2007

hours and hours of turning the compost

stepped out for a trip to the compost bin this morning with this weeks collected kitchen bits, dug in like i usually do and discovered the pile to be not only cold but sopping wet and full of buggy poos that should not be there - ants!

i knew right away it was time to turn the pile. and then it dawned on me, if this pile is wet, then the other piles are wet and lucky lucky me, i was right. each and every pile was sopping wet and each and every pile was cold and each and every pile needed turning. the other detail - each pile was piled quite high.

bing bing bing the brain realized that this was all i was going to get done today. ok then let's get to it!

why were the piles in this condition? i could only guess that it was the three or four days of heavy rain we experienced this past thanksgiving week. and once the pile goes cold, creatures who might not normally inhabit the pile move in. creatures like ants, cockroaches, maggots and mad numbers of pill bugs. fun eh?

the good news was that the pile smelled as it should, nice and earthy so i figured that there might be a fair amount of goods at the bottom of each pile ready for sifting. to find out, i had to get to the bottom of each pile and wet compost my friends is heavy lifting.

into the house, on go the muck boots, change my clothes? hmm nope - why bother, there's laundry to do later anyway so i'll just drop the pjs in with the mix once done. at least that was the plan. i was in for a surprise, the job was going to take much longer than i thought
- all freakin' day my friends - all day -
you see i don't have a tractor or some fancy motorized equipment. i've got me, my back, my legs and my arms.

got the job done though. i pulled out every bit of compost, mixed it with fresh dried leaves and heaved it back into the bins. my hope is that i've incorporated enough dry leaves to get each of the three bins to heat back up again. i'll know in a day or so if i have, if not, i may just pull everything out and try again. i'm stubborn like that.

i used up the entirety of my stored dried leaves. you see i save them for this very reason. looks like i'll have to forage the neighborhood tomorrow for more. i think i know where to go. i saw some folks raking this afternoon. could turn out to be an easy task.

on the plus side, there was indeed a whole lot of finished compost at the bottom of each bin ready for sifting. what to do with it is the question: i might use this to get the seed potatoes started. i've got enough to lay out a whole new bed if i want to. don't know yet. i'm going to sleep on it before making a choice.

funny thing is, now is the moment when my back begins to ache after work like this but it's feeling good, real good. maybe it's the daily running strengthening it up. i would not be surprised. no matter, if the back is good, all the better.

well it feels good to get the job done. there's nothing worse than a cold compost pile. can't have that now can we? heck no!

and now - beer - cheers!

a short time has passed since the above posting and already i'm feeling like there's more to be done. i'm telling you folks, this girl holds no talent for a simple sit. i try, it just does not seem to take. so i'm off now to the kitchen to whip up a turkey pot pie. there's plenty of goods left from thanksgiving for the taking. here we go.

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