There is a huge pit in our backyard, the only reminder to those who followed that a very old and very large tree used to inhabit its space. The tree was gone before we moved into the house. I understand from a long-term neighbor that the original owner/builder of the property, who had sold the house and moved on, was quite irate when she discovered the tree had been removed. The tree had been diseased, I'm fairly certain, and no one would want to risk it coming down on the house in one of our gale-force wind days. No one except the original owner/builder.
The pit is not near where the children play. It's on the slope up toward the back of our property. It is surrounded by other trees and ivy and weeds. In past years, it's only contents, aside from the organic matter from nature all around, has been ashes from the wood stove, which are dutifully put there.
But the ashes have learned to share, as we all must do in due time. Now, in addition to what falls into the pit via nature's design and the ashes we humans pour in, there is future garden material. Coffee grounds, tea bags, vegetables, fruit and egg shells are all slowly rotting in the ole compost pit.
It's shocking to me that I am composting. Don't get me wrong, it's not as if I'm not already trying to do the right thing as far as the environment goes. I'm the one digging through the trash cans and pulling out clearly recyclable material and putting it in the correct bin rather than in the headed-for-the-ever-expanding-landfill-up-the-road can. I'm the one picking up bottles and cans with Youngest whenever we roam. I'm the one who gives bags of goods to Goodwill or freecycle.
I buy into the responsibility I have, a responsibility made even greater because I need to model good behavior for my kids. [And, damn, I fall down on that role model job in nearly every other way.]
Why, then, is it so shocking that I have created a compost -- or, let's call it what it truly is, a rat buffet? Because I don't garden. Because our whole land is filled with trees and wild grass and weeds. Because there really isn't an appropriate space to create a garden.
Anyone out there want some good compost?
[Look for great organic goods over at Sunday Scribblings today.]