Side by side


Story: Once a month or so, I roll one of them to somewhere in my garden (which isn’t a garden, per se, but rather, well, everywhere. Let’s just call it everywhere. I roll one of them everywhere). I empty the sort-of-finished compost directly around specific plants that I feel could use a boost (see super-short video on how to side-dress plants here), or I just cover a cleared-out patch with whatever’s in there — the remnants of my days, the sliced-off edges and ends of my life. It’s three of us most of the time now, instead of four, who feed the soldier flies and worms who work these containers turning garbage into gold. Soon it will be just two of us. Side by side. Sitting. Spinning. Making something good.

Tip: To make a steady flow of home compost from kitchen waste, get two enclosed rotating bins like the ones pictured. Fill one about a third with “browns” (dead leaves, wood chips, and/or shredded newspaper without colored ink). Then add fruit and veggie peels daily and spin often (daily is great but don’t kill yourself). In a month, start the second one and then fill only that one for the next month while also spinning the first one often as well. In a month, the first one is ready. Empty it in your garden and start filling it again. The next month, the second one is ready. Keep up this simple routine, and you’ll now have a load of free, fresh compost every month. Don’t forget the browns. A compost bin should not smell anything but sweet (which is why I can keep it conveniently right outside the kitchen door on the patio). If yours doesn’t, you don’t have enough browns. Add more.

Recipe: This is more of a general recipe comment today. If you are making your own compost, you want peels and skins and ends as much as possible. So don’t give in to the overpriced convenience stuff at the store. Buy the unpeeled carrots and the whole squashes. Get the whole potatoes and slice and bake them for fries rather than buying packaged fries. It really doesn’t take very long to make things from scratch (you may be surprised if you haven’t done this before), and there are moments of grace and peace when you take the time to be truly present to prepare something. Plus, you’ll increase your chances of growing more of your own beautiful food by feeding your compost bins as well as your family.

We’ll talk worm bins another day. (And, yes, I still have the descendants of the ones featured in my book!)

For more stories, tips, and recipes, buy my book on Amazon, available in all global markets in both print and digital forms (instantly-downloadable to all devices). I’m an indie author and your support is greatly appreciated. As always, 10% of all proceeds helps to grow food for those in need.


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