I made a discovery while turning the compost heap at my community garden last week. It turns out that someone had stashed away all the ingredients needed to turn our pathetic pile into a reasonable bin — someone just had to make it. And so using what I had on hand: a shovel, a ball of jute, bricks, broken pieces of concrete, and muscle power, I managed to cobble together a solid compost bin.
- Our craptastic former compost heap.
Having done it wrong many times, and yet having had it turn out right regardless, I can tell you that it does not take a degree in soil-ology to make compost. We have the standard City issue black bins at the garden but never use them. I have TRIED to get those suckers to do something but they just fall apart and drive me nuts. Everyone has become afraid to go near them since a fellow plot member was attacked by a swarm of hornets living in the base of an inactive bin. On the other hand our crappy Pile O’ Stuff with Plastic Cover has been putting out the black gold with little effort. Putting sides up around the pile means we can continue to make easy compost — and more of it! I can’t tell you how giddy that makes me! I walked away from that completed bin dirty, sweaty, with cuts on my hands and punching the air victoriously.
All of that green sitting on top of the pile in this photo is lemon balm that I cut back. Our communal “Herb Garden” has quickly evolved into a “Lemon Balm and Friends Garden.” I’ve decided that the new common name for lemon balm should be lemon BOMB considering it’s highly invasive nature. I really love this herb as it is a gentle, lemony remedy for an upset tummy, but I am fairly certain that our garden has produced more than enough to treat the upset tummies of me, you, and everyone we know.
Here’s the pile after I moved the straw I had purchased for mulch beside it. That is the most beautiful crappy thing I have ever made. Sigh.