Shiny little pail of garbage

You people are nothing if not passionate about your compost. I received more comments and advice for my Garbage Buffet post than I’ve ever received before, and I thank you.

Your exhortations? Your claims? Your encouragement? It worked. At least, it worked enough for me to place an order.

I have to give Jenn of Garden Djinn the credit for pushing me over the edge. One of the things that has always put me off from composting has been the crock of decaying produce that composters keep on their kitchen counters. To be fair, if said crock has anything resembling a reasonable lid, this is fine. I mean, like anyone else, I can hold my breath while I open it. I can even empty it thirty to forty times a day, if need be.

You people think I’m full of hyperbole, but really, I’m just afraid of the smell of decay.

But Jenn suggested this fabulous little super-shiny crock. This thing is pretty, folks. Pretty! And yet compost-involved.

“You want pretty with your compost?” Steve asked.

I explained I wanted something that would not retain a single smell. See, back when Steve and I were both residents of the Washington D.C. area, he lived in a house we affectionately called Tibet, because it had a strand of faded prayer flags draped across the front porch. D.C.’s notoriously high rents mean there are a lot of group houses, where any number of people band together, take over the bedrooms and split the rent in an effort to create affordable housing where there is none. Steve lived with four other roommates at Tibet, one of whom kept a garden out back.

The kitchen, most days, was a total disaster. I did everything I could to keep from eating there – there was a fairly constant war on the whiteboard around the corner about how people needed to CLEAN UP AFTER THEMSELVES, but everyone was very pleasant to each other’s faces. And to be fair, everyone was incredibly nice, even if they were comfortable living with a kitchen that left something to be desired in the cleanliness department.

Did you hear that? That was Steve’s head exploding because I’m outing their kitchen to the world. Sorry, Steve.

Because this house had a garden, this house also had a compost pail of sorts. This so-called pail really was a plastic ice cream container with a huge chunk missing out of the lid. Now, I am all for recycling, but, you know, buy some more ice cream so you can get a new container with a hole-free lid. Really. The container leaked the lovely scent of slowly putrifying organic garbage out into the kitchen, since everyone was willing to add to it, but as far as I could tell, no one wanted to empty it. Ever.

“You’re right,” Steve said, when I reminded him of this association I have now with compost. “That was gross.”

So no, I do not want smell with my compost. But I did follow Jenn’s suggestion, and bought the shiny little crock, and it is on its way, along with a wire container for compost, which was quite reasonably priced and, I think, will work fine for my purposes.

Now…all I need is a fork to turn the stuff, and some good weather. Then I’m getting the compost party started.


16 Responses to “Shiny little pail of garbage”

  1. 1 steve April 13, 2007 at 11:28 pm

    Okay, obviously some liberties have been taken here…yes, I lived in a group house (not to be confused with a group home, that will happen when I’m 90 yrs. old). Yes, it had Tibetan prayer flags. Yes, the kitchen was aromatic (all of my housemates were women, btw, so don’t even start in with the gender stereotyping). And, yes, there was compost which was emptied on an “inadvertent” (ahem) basis. What’s not true is the statement about the leaking lid with a hole in it. That’s a fabrication. It was a broken plastic plate. And actually it served a purpose of promoting air flow which, as any composter worth her worms can tell you, is critical to a good rot. So, really, it makes sense. It’s sad, though, to see the facts perish in pursuit of a joke. Sad, I say. Sad.

    P.S. Greg Oden’s dad is saying he’s gonna enter the draft. Thoughts?

  2. 2 inadvertentgardener April 13, 2007 at 11:35 pm

    Is Greg Oden’s dad entering the draft for the Iowa City Gardeners? Because otherwise I can’t imagine why you would be interested.

    Broken plastic plate, huh? My memory didn’t serve me well, but still…it was smelly. And that’s all I have to say about that. I’m glad, at least, to have the validation about the timeframe between compost-pail emptyings. Yikes…

  3. 3 Lydia April 14, 2007 at 3:50 am

    Genie, it’s worth all the smell and inconvenience for the one day in spring when, having nurtured and turned your compost pile over winter, you dig into it and find black gold, and you spread that on your garden. It is oh-so-worth it.

  4. 4 Carol April 14, 2007 at 6:51 am

    I hope Greg Oden enters the draft, instead of his dad. But unfortunately my Indiana Pacers are not going to be in a position to get him! But whoever does get him… as they say, he’s a franchise-changing caliber player, and those type of players don’t come along every year.

    Genie… I see from the link that you are getting the super shiny crock from Lee Valley, one of my favorite sources for all kinds of fun and well made gardening tools. I have all kinds of tools and stuff from them, but not this, for some reason!

  5. 5 Alanna April 14, 2007 at 7:18 am

    You know, you’re RIGHT. My reluctance is not due to “where to put the compost pile” but the SMELL and GENERAL GROSSNESS of the plastic ice cream bucket (or the bread sack or whatever was nearby) that my Mum used to keep on the counter. Because they haul their own garbage and the landfill has strict rules about what’s allowed and what has to be separated for recycling, I was so overwhelmed with the “garbage protocol” at my folks’ house that I just, well, avoided the kitchen. I like the bucket but think I’ll look for something similar that will fit under the sink. OUT OF SIGHT. Apparently, I’m not over it yet. But all the descriptions of everyone’s compost is better than therapy!

  6. 6 inadvertentgardener April 14, 2007 at 10:51 am

    Lydia, I’m trusting all of you guys that it’s worth it. Plus, I’ve seen Maggie and Heal’s compost (and we were lucky enough to get to swipe some from them last spring!), and it was really quite amazing.

    Carol, I hadn’t heard about Lee Valley before, but they have a great selection of stuff — it’s a cool store!

    Alanna, it is all better than therapy, huh? Also, the under-the-sink idea isn’t a bad one. There’s no telling where the crock is going to end up, and it may very well end up where it can’t be seen, no matter how pretty it is. What I really like about the one I ordered is that it claims not to retain the smell after a quick rinse…I’m all over that!

  7. 7 steve April 14, 2007 at 10:55 am

    I agree. I was impressed when he taught himself how to shoot left-handed earlier in the season when he was dealing with a fracture in his right wrist. That’s called dedication. Except for his performance in the title game, he had somewhat of an average tournament due to his foul problems…but in the NBA he won’t get hit with ticky-tacky stuff all the time…which is a long way of getting around to the point that he could really be amazing. And he seemed rather unflappable regardless of the situation. When Memphis’ center questioned his talent he was quoted as saying “dang he called me out” then didn’t say anything else other than dunk on the other player many, many times and hold him to, I think, 0 points. What’s a little worrisome is he probably would benefit from more coaching, and he might not get that if he’s shipped off to the Bobcats or Grizzles or Celtics or Lee Valley Shiny Crocks who won’t give him time to develop but will want him to go out and start filling it up immediately. Although, rumor has it the coaching he received at OSU wasn’t all that swell anyway. But if they lose all three of those freshmen they’ll go right back to being lame. Such a tease. College basketball makes me sad these days. But it never was about education…I say let ’em all go pro, the 19 and up rule was made as much for CBS as anyone. Now I’m rambling so I’ll end this summary of everything I’ve read everwhere else…

  8. 8 steve April 14, 2007 at 10:58 am

    Hoyas’ Green, Hibbert to submit names for draft
    Associated Press

    WASHINGTON — Jeff Green and Roy Hibbert, the juniors who led Georgetown to the school’s first Final Four appearance in 22 years, will submit their names for the NBA draft.

    Neither player will sign with an agent before the early withdrawal date, the Hoyas said Friday, which means they will retain NCAA eligibility should either or both decide to return to college.

    (Unlike Afflalo from UCLA this is their first time testing the waters…he declared before then came back. You can only do that once, apparently so he has to go. I still wish Hibbert and Oden would have had more time on the court against each other.)

  9. 9 inadvertentgardener April 14, 2007 at 11:03 am

    Steve, your attempts to turn my blog into a sports blog will not work! Bwa ha ha ha haaaaa!!!!!

    (Note for the record: I love sports. But these guys do such a good job with the sports blogging that I see no point in joining that game.)

  10. 10 Scott April 14, 2007 at 6:45 pm

    Speaking of basketball… Just kidding.

    I’m lucky enough to have a primo location for my compost pile about a dozen steps from my back door, so it’s not a problem to run all my compostables out there every night when I’m done cleaning up after dinner.

    Is it worth it? After 2 years of the most casual composting, I finally got around to using the compost. I had enough to almost fill a new 8′ x 12′ raised bed. Good luck!

  11. 11 Katie April 15, 2007 at 8:02 am

    We keep an open compost bowl on the kitchen counter most days (we tuck it away when company comes). It gets emptied every few days. It never smells. The key is to never put meat or dairy products in your compost pile – they really shouldn’t go in anyway.

    We have 2 huge compost piles that we rotate every 9 months. Without the animal products they don’t smell, even in summer heat, and they’re never disturbed by other critters. And the garden loves it!

  12. 12 inadvertentgardener April 15, 2007 at 2:16 pm

    Scott, that’s an excellent report o’ success — thanks for the encouragement. And really, if you want to talk basketball, you’re welcome to. As is everyone. This is an equal opportunity blog.

    Katie, no worries — I’m definitely not planning on any meat or dairy products in there. Good to know that both your piles are working well!

  1. 1 Mystery F2 hybrid cherry tomato « Seeded Trackback on April 15, 2007 at 9:03 pm
  2. 2 Cold storage « The Inadvertent Gardener Trackback on April 17, 2007 at 10:17 am
  3. 3 me 4you Trackback on April 25, 2007 at 4:11 pm
  4. 4 Eight inches « The Inadvertent Gardener Trackback on January 3, 2008 at 6:51 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Getting in touch

Need garden advice? Then you probably shouldn't send me an email.

Also, please note that this site has now relocated and will not be updated. You can find me at the new and improved location.

Take a look back…

All words and images (unless otherwise credited) on The Inadvertent Gardener are © 2006-2008 Eugenia E. Gratto. All rights reserved.

Drop in & Decorate

Bake. Decorate. Donate.
Free guide tells you how!