A mother-daughter conversation on food and cooking (mostly)

Sunday, April 29, 2007


This weekend I decided it was time to start composting again, but that I was sick of the abandoned, messy, unscientific compost heap in the corner of the yard. I did some research, then went for a walk around the neighborhood to think about what kind of compost bin to construct. I was imagining a wood-and-wire box, was even planning what to buy at Lowe's to ineptly build it myself, when I happened upon a large old wood-and-wire birdcage someone had set out by the street. It was beautiful. I went and got my car to haul it home. As I was loading it into my car, an old man came out of the house I was in front of and asked if I needed help. "I had some lovebirds in there," he said, "but I didn't have much luck with them, so I let them go. Decided to let them fend for themselves."

I'll bet those birds are toast. We have at least one neighborhood hawk whom I have seen in the very graphic act of killing a smaller bird.

I pried the top of the cage off with a crowbar and pulled out all the perches and feeders and mirrors. Then I hosed the whole thing down and installed some hinges and a handle on the top. Today I gathered together dry leaves, weeds, a few days' worth of vegetable parts and coffee grounds, ashes, and some other things (okay, diluted urine) and built a starter heap inside the cage. I'm hoping it'll heat up in the next few days and be more productive than my usual halfhearted composting efforts.

So, compost's not food, but it directly contributes to food. Here are spinach and parsley from Lawson's garden:


Kris said...

Very cool, and recycled too! We are in the middle of getting a concrete block enclosure made for our two compost bins.

On the down side, we've had a resurgence of fruit flies since we started composting again--do you get them?

Eva said...

We do get fruit flies, but I really only notice them when they commit suicide in my wine glass -- also a problem at your house, I know. Our kitchen invariably has a few fruit flies and a few houseflies during the summer. The fruit flies are no problem compared to the noisy, food-landing-on houseflies.