Skip to content

Composting Together

Our city collects yard waste at the curb, and then makes and sells the resulting compost, and I’m very pleased that it does. We abstain from contributing on a regular basis, however, except for the odd bag of weeds mixed with raspberry canes, because we have our own compost pile to feed.

A couple of years ago, one of the neighbors who lived in one of the nearby small apartment buildings knocked on our door and asked if he and his girlfriend could put their kitchen waste in our compost bin. They’d seen our black square composter from their apartment window. I was slightly surprised by this unexpected request, but, after talking with him for a few minutes, I readily agreed. They were not compost novices, and he assured me that they were put only vegetative waste in the bins. I admit that it was initially a little odd to open the compost bin and regularly see items we hadn’t purchased or added (when did we have blueberries? oh, that wasn’t us!), but we got used to it.

The neighbor who we garden with also likes to contribute her kitchen waste to the compost bin. We have an irregular system where she sets containers out on her back porch, and I take them to the compost bin with me. Winter has thrown off my schedule, however, and yesterday she patiently pointed out several containers of now-frozen kitchen scraps waiting on the back porch. I gathered them all up today and topped up the compost once again. Our container is getting a little full. We can’t add more to the Compost Tumbler in the winter because the contents sort of freeze to the bottom and make turning it pretty unsafe! We may need to expand our compost empire!

When we lived in Toronto in the 1990’s, one of our neighbors kept her compost bin in the front yard because that was her yard space in the shared house. One day she asked in a suspicious tone if we’d been putting stuff in her bin. No, I assured her, we wouldn’t do that without permission. Someone, not us, she then supposed, was adding little plastice bags of kitchen and mixed waste to her compost bin. Shortly after that, we noticed a padlock on the compost bin! It was both funny and sad that someone had to guard her compost bin from someone else who wanted to love the earth by composting and at the same time had no idea how to do it properly.

In the 20 years since, composting has come a long way in gaining popularity among lots of people, not just hardcore organic gardeners and hippies! I am pleased we can do our part. I’m also really pleased that we can compost in a neighborly way.

Posted in • Growing.

Tagged with , .