Giving away the gold: a big compost score

Giving away the gold: a big compost score

So, when you are geeky about composting like we are, you wind up getting excited over some pretty weird things.

First of all, we’re excited about how, every couple of weeks or so, someone we’ve never met in person e-mails us to say that she’s putting a bag of rotting food outside her place for us. This is a woman we hooked up with through freecycle, and she lives in a city apartment where backyard composting is impossible because, well, there is no backyard. With our seven messy acres, we are more than ready to provide her orphaned kitchen scraps with a loving home. Specifically, we add them to the compost pile where we put our own carrot peels, squash skins and scallion roots. This is good.

Even better is the fact that, a week ago, we were in a certain local restaurant and spotted a big bucket of compostables. I won’t tell you which restaurant it was because I haven’t asked their permission to blab about this, but I will say that it serves local and organic foods and is, you know, generally groovy like that. "Hey, can we have that?" I basically asked. And they literally started giggling with delight, because apparently they’ve been quite overwhelmed with organic matter and are too conscientious to just throw it away without a second thought. Thus, a partnership was born.

We are now visiting once a week to pick up more stuff. Compost on a business-sized scale is a whole different deal. It’s heavy and, if you don’t deal with it quickly, it’s smelly. So we started a whole new pile to handle the abundance. We bought two square bales of hay for brown matter, cut a bunch of long grass from around our yard for green matter, and voila: future gold for the gardener.

Few things are more satisfying to me than improving the efficiency of the universe, in small ways like this.

I know that Mudhouse likes to give away coffee grounds for the same purpose, so I’m sure we’re not the only restaurant-compost elves in town. Anybody else out there diverting organic matter, other than your own kitchen scraps, from the waste stream?

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