Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Building a Compost

I've been trying to be more environmentally friendly lately, and I've started a compost in a very big and tall bucket. I started dropping fruit peelings, plant cuttings, leaves, and dirt in, and the compost is slowly growing. Unfortunately, due to the fact that I drop quite so much fruity things in there, there are A LOT of fruit flies. They rise like a rapidly spreading cloud when I lift the lid to the compost and I have to bat at them with my stirring stick to ward them off. I read that it was important to stir the compost once in a while to add air to the mixture and combine the "ingredients". I've got to do something about those fruit flies, though. It seems very unsanitary and it's very annoying to have them zipping around me as I work on my very colourful and disgusting pile of muck. I like to think that it will all become wonderful, rich, and nutritious soil for my plants one day, so I put up with it all. Building a compost reminds me of my childhood when I used to create imaginary soups and meals with collections of flowers, dirt and other things from all around me. I think I added worms and bugs if I found them too.

Today I picked up a bag of used coffee grinds from Starbucks. Coffee grinds are supposed to be a good source of slow-releasing nitrogen for plants, thus making used coffee grinds a good fertilizer for the garden and a great addition to a compost. Coffee grinds also help balance the pH of the soil. The coffee grinds look like very dark coloured dirt. It definitely LOOKS like it would make good soil, and it smells of coffee, which isn't so bad. I'm going to collect a bag every once in a while and add it to my compost. Here's to hoping that fruit flies hate coffee.

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