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Compost Experiment: An Old Straw Hat

Jim’s straw gardening hat has seen better days.

Broken Straw Hat

It seems the old straw hat spent the winter outside…

Broken Straw Hat

…Under some pots and tools and a bag of hardwood charcoal.

Broken Straw Hat

Sure, the old straw hat still casts some shade and could be set at a jaunty angle, as in the picture above, but the hat is not longer head-shaped or comfortable. Under ordinary circumstances, one might expect that such a hat would be thrown away.

I’m sure the title to my post, however, has given away the fact that my intentions for The Old Straw Hat are not ordinary. Instead, The Old Straw Hat might yet obtain a modicum of fame as the object of a composting experiment.

I began by removing the two metal and somewhat rusty grommets from the Hat’s brim. Jim noted that those would have eventually broken down but I’m going for speed here.

Removing Grommets

Then I introduced the Hat to its new home.

Old Straw Hat inside Compost Tumbler

I did a little research to see if anyone has already explored the question of “How long does it take for an Old Straw Hat to decompose in compost?” but my initial investigation seems to show that the question is still wide open. I found the lyrics to a children’s song about composting which lists items that can go in a compost pile and includes the line “an old straw hat” so obviously I’m not the first one to try it!

Old Straw Hat inside Compost Tumbler

If the experiment proves successful, I’ll be ready to update my post on 90 Things We Compost to 91. Watch for updates on the Old Straw Hat’s decomposition process.

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Continuing the Discussion

  1. Bookmarks about Hat linked to this post on August 12, 2008

    […] – bookmarked by 3 members originally found by cmoto on 2008-07-21 Compost Experiment: An Old Straw Hat http://20minutegarden.com/2008/07/05/compost-experiment-old-straw-hat/ – bookmarked by 2 members […]

  2. Failed Experiment = Compost Success — Our Twenty Minute Kitchen Garden linked to this post on October 16, 2008

    […] In July, I began an experiment to compost an old straw hat. […]

  3. Compost Experiment: SunChips Compostable Bag | Our Twenty Minute Kitchen Garden linked to this post on March 24, 2010

    […] Compostable Bag– Day 1 My compost experiments so far have been grand successes on one scale. There was the straw hat. The worn out but still intact hat went into the compost tumbler; compost came out. The only real […]