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another man's treasure

We've gotten into the trash-pickup business—and I don't mean just the usual opportunistic curb finds we've been so happy about in the past. No, we've branched out into actual prearranged waste removal, though it isn't ordinary trash in this case: it's compost. See, unlike the lucky folks in forward-thinking West Coast cities, we don't have municipal composting around here, which leaves green-intentioned city-dwellers with a quandary. (Sure, they could theoretically go the worm bin route, but not everybody is comfortable with harboring insects... which I totally sympathize with!)

Us, though—we have the opposite problem. I aim for some pretty concentrated agriculture in our little garden, so I'd really like to be able to fill up the big four foot by four foot compost bins I built a couple years ago. While we produce a considerable amount of food scraps (it turns out, for instance, that children occasionally waste vegetables) it's nothing like enough to make a sufficiency of compost to enrich the beds we have, let alone the new ones I want to create. Then there's always the hope of making enough finished compost to be able to use some in planters and for seed starting... you get the idea. The chickens are doing their part, especially since we realized that they add about an inch of dirt to their run over the course of a few months, and that we can—nay, must!—remove it if the coop is to continue to function. That's five cubic feet of high quality composted manure! But we still need more.

So I bought some five gallon buckets with lids and started passing them out to friends. The Stevenses were our first takers; we picked up the first full load last Friday and left them with an empty bucket. Oh, how happy I was dumping that rich mix of squash rinds, coffee grounds, and spent brewing grains onto the frozen pile (I also was a little envious of how pleasant life must be chez Stevens!). I think the VB Family will be joining the program soon as well. Do you live within 10 miles of us and wish you could be diverting some of your food waste from landfills, but don't have the time or space to deal with composting yourself? We may be able to help!


We're in! We just this evening made a spot for the bucket. (Though 5 gallons is kinda intimidating - not sure how quickly we'll fill it since we don't drink coffee or brew beer...)

Because we don't expect to be able to use our existing compost out back this year (side thought: how can we get that over to you? Its pretty gross.), we're thrilled to not have to trash so much stuff. Thanks! On non-beer-making weeks, our compost is probably 45% coffee grounds, 45% banana peels, and 5% crusts from peanut butter sandwiches, plus filler.

Katie, you also don't have six hungry eaters in your family! We'll get you a smaller one if you want.

Luke, our car is pretty dirty and farmy already; we can just throw the whole thing in the back then next time we're over there in the daytime.

Add it to the list right under car-top thing and toboggan.

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