When neither Maggie nor Heal called back within fifteen to twenty minutes, I assumed I was off the hook. While I am a rational woman with a Masters degree, and while I am aware that we could have, at any point following our conversation, actually gone to purchase a Digging thing, part of me thought, well, if we don’t get a shovel, we can’t have a garden.
Logic. Ain’t it grand?
That weekend, Maggie and Heal hosted a tea in honor of a classmate who is leaving Iowa City. Between bites of Maggie’s fantabulous assortment of biscotti and cookies, they mentioned Steve’s message.
“We can definitely lend you a shovel,” Maggie said.
“And compost,” Heal said. “We thought we’d send you home with some compost.”
The idea of other people’s compost pleased me greatly. People may have been composting for years, but I didn’t really want any part of the grand mystery. I’ve always been a little skeeved by the idea of throwing my food-related garbage into a smelly pail on my kitchen counter. Then you dump that garbage in the backyard, biology happens and you get fertilizer?
Even so, I decided I should look up composting on the Internet, Source of All Knowledge. Every site I came upon provided detailed instructions, complete with how to keep your compost from being too green or too brown or too maggoty or too hot or too dry or too cold and the next thing I know, I shut my browser and decided maybe Miracle-Gro isn’t such a bad thing, after all.
“We can use some of your compost?” I exclaimed, as if they’d just offered me a schnauzer puppy or a plane ticket to Belize. “Cool! Thank you so much!” I know we need fertilizer, but I was thrilled at being able to continue avoiding the issue of composting. At least for the moment.
Since it was already late Sunday afternoon, we agreed we would find a time the following weekend to come over and borrow a shovel, acquire the compost, and get a brief gardening lesson.
In the International Language of Gardening, that means No Turning Back.