Friday, August 31, 2007

compost is like grace

This morning, Matt decided we should rent a little trailer and take all the junk--like the old window trim that we tore off--that's lying around the house to the landfill. I persuaded him that, as long as we've got a trailer and are going to the landfill, we might as well get some fresh compost for the garden.

We've picked up free compost from the landfill before, but the availability of a trailer opened up a new possibility for us: they could use a big machine to load the compost for us.

Scale is difficult at the landfill. Huge piles of trash. Little bitty people.

Turns out it costs $4 to have them load you up with compost. But it's WAY worth it.

The biggest scooper truck I've seen comes over to help us. (There's probably a better word for this piece of machinery, but "backhoe" is the closest approximation I have and this is WAY bigger than any backhoe I've seen.) The very large man in the very large truck looks at our receipt and starts loading. Just before he dumps the beautiful, smelly compost in, though, he beckons Matt over to his cab. (Well, like, over to 10 feet under his cab.)

"Is this for your garden?"

When Matt nods yes, he backs up, dumps the compost back where it came from, and takes off. Turns out, we get the top shelf compost this time. "Food compost," he called it. The best they have. He came back with his scooper less than half full.

We'd been having this discussion about volume. Our receipt indicated that we could receive 1 cubic yard. I realize that cubic yards are a lot bigger than cubic feet (like, 27 times bigger, by my math), but it didn't seem like a lot. I told this to Matt. He told me a cubic yard is big.

So the nice big man in the nice big truck dumps his partially-filled load of the good stuff in our trailer. Suddenly, it looks bigger.

Now, as darkness falls over City Heights, it looks huge.

Here's the pile that's left in the driveway, after I spread a layer liberally around the garden. (Gardening liberally is a specialty of mine...)
I think we have enough.

Our windows are all open (on account of it being really-hot-for-San-Diego today). It smells like compost around here. Pretty cool that this all comes from our trash...

4 comments:

karen said...

math and liberal gardening and "good stuff" -- what's not to love!

Compost is like grace!

Erika may be a prophet, but you're a poet.

Krista Givens said...

thanks for the idea, mol. I will pass your post onto my folks, who have been composting for a while but will be happy to hear the landfill can offer this option.

feminist_mom said...

wow molly ... that is one huge pile of compost!!!!! my little compost pile looks nothing like it... send you a pic sometime... the mango trees/plants are growing in the NE sun.... will take pics of them too! They are multiplying??? see you in sept!love, mom

RevErikaG said...

Yay...out of trash rises good produce!
And, yep, Karen's right...you are the poet!