Thursday, June 25, 2009

Alice in Compost-land

I am neglecting my blog - and indeed everyone elses - again. All is well however my composting pledge is in the bin along with all my peelings.

I've discovered that if you don't have an actual compost bin it's pretty miserable trying to compost one's leavings. Since keeping an open compost heap within 270 yards of one's house without a license is now illegal in the UK, meaning I'd have to have my compost heap in the garden of a neighbour about 5 doors up (or apply for a special license), I am going to have to do without until I can get a proper bin. That's my excuse, anyway.

The story so far: I've been throwing our veggie-based leavings in the very far corner of the way back where of the under a bush at the back of the dark side of the garden.

Way under there, where, for all I know, the pixies actually live, I do know that there is a fox-sized hole in the fence. I know this because all the neighbourhood cats and some of the foxes regularly appear from under our ceanothus looking dazed, as if they walked into a wardrobe on the next street, pushed through a few coats and found themselves in the magic land of dead grass and tricycles.

I try to discourage this behaviour because in general foxes are bad m'kay because fox poo = Very Rank; and I have a toddler who likes to run around the garden barefoot. I also try to discourage cats because Sammy isn't exactly able to defend his territory. He'll have a go but he's 18, deaf and too weak to be vaccinated and he recently came home with a chunk taken out of his nose. He's not what you'd call 'fighting fit' so I'd be happy as hell to patch that hole. The problem is that it's a bit like the rabbit hole to Wonderland; it's deep and it's dark under that bush and I'd need a magic potion that says 'drink me' to be able to fit under there with a hammer.

I routinely throw my garden clippings in front of the hole but they just get trampled down and pushed aside. I hoped the smell of rotting vegetation would cure the prowlers but the answer is no. It doesn't. It just stinks up the garden. Mind you it has moved some of the snails away from my pepper plant so hooray for that; but sadly on balance I will be filing my kitchen waste in the bin until I have purchased a composting system that doesn't involve flinging carrot peelings under a bush and hoping for the best.

This means the floor under our furniture is going to shine for the next few weeks as I fulfil my half of the bargain. It's been an interesting experiment and the result is that I now feel heinously guilty for not composting so I will be picking up a compost bin and doing it properly at some point soon. I promise. I will do it, I've composted in many previous lives but... not QUITE yet in this one, sadly.


Anonymous said...

Surely you can buy those little red worms that eat newspaper and everything else and turn it to mush so that you can just throw it on the garden and grow bigger and better peas? I have never used it but know town dwellers who swear by them.

Anyway - nice try and good luck.

DJ Kirkby said...

I fear we may be breaking the law...but that would mean measuring so instead I'll just ask my magnificent man to move the compost even further away from the house. We have no foxes but our old cats do get regular 'visits' from a neighbouring cat the size of a fox! He doesn't play very nicely either...

Lisa (Jonny's Mommy) said...

Yeah, at least your doing better than me. I don't do anything at all to help with that or the environment. I do recycle -- if you call piling up all our cans and bottles on the back porch and moving them to the garage "recycling". I don't, but Hubby does.

Glyn Pope said...

I like compost bins.
If you like Leonard Cohen you should see my blog at

Rob Clack said...

So what's with this 'law' about compost bin location? I've never heard of it and have been composting, both covered and uncovered, for decades. I googled for it and found nothing about the location.

Joni said...

Sorry I haven't stopped by in too long. I am not a composting person, so no thoughts on that issue. As for the undesirable visitors, I've heard that blobs of human hair can discourage wild animals. Not sure about the neighborhood cats, though!

darth sardonic said...

lol funny

Sparx said...

Anonymous - yes but you need a compost bin for that!

DJ - I don't really mind the foxes much, it's just the fox poo that bothers me. One used to crap in the same place on our lawn every night for a few weeks, it was truly awful.

Lisa - well, every little bit helps!

Glyn - Hi, thanks for stopping by!

Rob - I know, I googled it too after posting this and couldn't find much. I remember a bit hoo haw about it so I googled it and found only the hoo haw; not sure if it actually got passed but that and the threat of rats has stopped me from having a heap for ages now.

Joni - great to see you. I've tried cat hair in the garden, maybe I should try some of ours!

Darth: thanks!

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