Monday, May 14, 2007

On compost

I have a compost heap in my yard. When we moved a year ago, I moved my compost heap. Didn't just move the bin, moved the compost. So, I'm pretty obsessed with it -- I've always wanted to make compost.

It took me several years to convince my husband that compost was a good thing. He was so sure that we'd have rats and mice and stink and gross rotting things in our yard. I did my research, I waited, I researched more, and then I came up with a plan. A real plan. I knew how to do it, and I was ready, and had the research to assuage all his worries. With the promise that I'd get rid of it if it smelled, he reluctantly allowed my pile in his arena.

I currently have a love/hate relationship with said pile. It's now several piles, as I have a bunch of finished, gorgeous compost that I can't use. Why can I not use it, you ask? Because the ants have moved in. Seriously covered in ants. Of the fire variety. They found it after it finished, so it was no longer too hot for them. And I don't think there's any question about how I feel about ants.

There are now things growing in the ant-infested piles. Serendipitous, though, because I now have mystery tomatoes growing in there, and cantaloupe, or zucchini, I'm not sure which. I'll let you know. When something grows. If I'm not too scared to reach my hands in there.

There is, however, something magical about compost. I put our shredded junk mail in there. I put all of our vegetable kitchen scraps in there. I put weeds in there. Clearly, I put tomatoes and zucchini and cantaloupe in there. And, somehow, magically, it all rots without smelling bad and turns into this gorgeous dark brown earth. And then I'm in love again, ants or not.

But I have been feeling a little creepy-crawly since I came inside. I've found myself slapping at the imaginary ants crawling all over me. The kids think it's funny.

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