Monday, January 25, 2010

Compost: Garden Gold

We have our morning ritual and that which my husband enjoys is grinding and brewing our first cup of coffee. About an hour later he heats a bran muffin (see my recipe below) for each of us and serves it up with our second cup, which is my limit of caffeine for the day. Yesterday morning he reminded me we were eating our last muffins, so that was my cue to bake several more batches for the freezer, as he would be building another raised bed for our vegetables.

Out came the Cuisinart, the old version which weighs a ton but works like a charm, and with that I chopped the 3- pound bag of walnuts that will be kept in the freezer for days like this. Once I finished with that and put our first batch of muffins in the oven, it was time to put this machine to work for what I call our garden gold.

A mulch container is kept in the sink of whatever fruit and vegetable scraps we have. Nothing is thrown away; what comes from the soil finds its way back into the soil. We have always composted our kitchen products, and grinding them up helps expedite the decomposition.

A few potato skins, washed egg shells, coffee grounds, banana peel, pieces of apple, pear, kale, lettuce and spinach leaves... How good looking is this?

As I worked through this process I couldn't help but think of my grandmother who never wasted a thing. I can still see her tossing everything back on the garden. Was she smiling at me now or was she instructing that I really didn't need to do that?

She was a real hero: a non-English speaking woman who traveled to this country in 1911 and with a two-year old son, in order to join her husband and raise our family without fear. One day I hope to share some of that with you. Bobu, this compost is for you!