Monday, April 17, 2006

Spring Makes Beautiful Things Ugly

Fujimiko in the Spring
By spring, I don’t mean flowers blooming and warm gusts blowing in freshly budding tree branches. When that happens I call it “early summer.” I mean spring as it truly is: cold, wet, violently windy . . . gloomy grey and dirty brown. I mean the end of snowboarding and the beginning of mud. Spring is when all the things that died under the snow reappear and rot slowly. Having said that, I am trying to come to terms with rot and the cold, dirty genesis of new plant life by taking up composting and gardening this year.

The Expedition To Uncover My In-laws’ Compost Bin in February

Our Own Indoor Composter (Actually, to be honest, we don’t keep Stinker in the kitchen anymore since experience taught us the huge difference between aerobic and anaerobic bacteria.)
We got Stinker at half price at Sunday’s which was great, but then we found out that every three months we have to buy new supplies of coconut fibres and aerobic bacteria. I tried to cheat once by using rice bran (which is freely available from roadside rice polishing machines) instead of coconut fibres, but I quickly discovered that this does not work because rice bran ferments quickly and does not “breath”. Our relatively odour-free store-bought aerobic bacteria were quickly smothered and spontaneously replaced by reeking anaerobic bacteria (bacteria that thrive with no oxygen). I had to carry Stinker out to the garden at night in a snowstorm and empty him a whole month early because he smelled so bad. Since that failed experiment we have faithfully ordered new shipments of coconut fibres every three months. Even so, the third month is usually a smelly one inside the composter, so we keep Stinker in the storage room now. I still hope to find a free substitute for coconut fibre . . . maybe rice hulls or something.

Standby for blueprints of our garden to be . . . .