June 15, 2024

You know I’m getting a little carried away with the whole gardening thing when I start pricing compost bins. They’re outrageous, by the way. Some cost as much as $200.

Maybe that sounds normal to you, but if so, we’re not from the same place. This is how composting happens where I come from. Food scraps are tossed onto some dirt on the ground. Probably in or around the garden. The end.

Honestly, you don’t have to purchase worms, and you don’t have purchase envelopes of “compost starter,” whatever the heck that is. It’s a natural process. Food decomposes all on its own, and worms and bugs help where they can without being asked.

If you have food in your house that doesn’t break down on its own without sprinkling manufactured bacteria on it, don’t eat it. It can’t possibly be healthy.

That said, I don’t think people who live in town are supposed to throw food on the ground like country people. I’m not sure it’s a law, but Lowe’s would not stock compost bins if it weren’t generally accepted protocol.

Compost is a good thing, you know. Plants always need better dirt. Even if your dirt is okay this year, it will be depleted soon enough if you are growing things in it. And so it is that Lowe’s also stocks bags of manufactured compost. People throw their food scraps in the trash because they are too polite to throw them on the ground, and then they purchase new dirt for their yards. This is the glory of the modern world.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, food scraps and lawn clippings “constitute 26 percent of the U.S. municipal solid waste stream.” I don’t know how many of those people who send their food scraps to the landfill in plastic bags end up purchasing dirt in the spring when they start landscaping, but it is no doubt a considerable number.

All that is to say I’m looking for a cheap way to compost my food scraps without looking like too much of a redneck. Ideas, anyone?

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