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Failed Experiment = Compost Success

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

I had no doubt that the experiment would be successful. This summer, our compost tumbler was cooking at a pretty hot temperature most of the time.

I just didn’t expect my experiment to succeed so quickly. Within two weeks, I lost the hat.

I’d expected that I would be able to take a picture every couple of days and that we’d have the opportunity to watch the hat slowly disappear. Bad weather combined with the misplacement of the camera meant that I didn’t get out to the compost tumbler to take pictures.

When I tried to find the hat remnants for a picture, I instead found rich, dark compost.

If I had another old straw hat to compost, I would improve my experiment in several ways. First, I’d try attaching a string to the old straw hat and tying that to a post on the compost tumbler. For a couple days, at least, I would have had the possibility of tugging the string and finding the hat or part of the hat.

In addition, I would also make a more serious commitment to documenting the decomposition process with the camera. Old straw hats don’t come along every day.

There is, however, a sad old leather wallet that will certainly be my next compost experiment.

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