Monday, January 18, 2010

We're Earthy Like That

Salem County is rich in farms and the earth is important to the people here. The county has a website for the Improvement Authority with some tidbits of information to help citizens practice green habits and they even offer compost bins at a very attractive price. Here's a link to the site, in case you have a hankering to see how even a small and financially strapped community can reach out to help folks live a greener life.
Now, the Earth Machine, which is the composter of choice for the county, retails for almost a hundred dollars- so the county price(which WAS 22.50- but is now 26.50) is very enticing!
La Principessa and I put aside a few dollars every month until we had enough to buy an Earth Machine for Cape Coop.
And, here it is- ladies and gentleman, allow me to introduce to you Billy, Cape Coop's compost bin!
We bought him a few weeks ago, but once we got him home it was apparent that we are not bin builders- he had one tiny piece that we could not insert into the proper tab, no matter how we maneuvered and wrangled- so frustrating! The composter sat in our tiny living room, forlorn and bereft of the tidbits we had eagerly been saving up to feed it. We had saved scraps for over 2 months, in happy anticipation of Billy's arrival-and we were sorely put out when we realized that we would not be filling the composter immediately.
I admit that Mommy actually kicked Billy a few times, in frustration, as Billy lolled on the rug in the tiny living room, waiting to be fixed in a place of sun, OUTSIDE.

Somehow everything always works out, though, don't you notice? Last week I sold some fabric on Craigslist, and the man who bought the fabric was kind enough to finish the bin building for us when he came to pick up his super bargaintastic bolt of gray velvet.
Woohoo, yipppee- we have a composter in our yard now!
La Principessa and I placed Billy in the furthest South West corner of the property- right where we will someday, we hope, put up a back fence. If you look carefully you can see the posts which are already thoughtfully in place- Cape Coop is just waiting for that rear fence!

Isn't our composter adorable? Even with our 2 months plus worth of scraps AND many shovels full of dried leaves, we have only a few inches of material in the tummy of the bin- and I can't imagine that we will ever fill the thing, for he IS a behemoth of a composter and there are just the two of us, after all, but we have our very own composter for the first time in almost a decade, and that's a great feeling. I can really feel the beginning of a garden for our dear Cape Coop now. Having Billy is the first small step!

I have a reason to order gardening catalogues now! Oh, how I've missed my gardening and planning and such! I hope that La Principessa has lots of energy and patience this coming spring, for I have lots of plans for her muscles, and for the barren spots that are Cape Coop's lack of landscaping!
We are going to have a mostly edible garden- I hope for some blueberry bushes to please La Principessa, and a tiny plot for vegetables and fruits, as well as some bulbs to decorate the front yard- I just have to decide on a c0lor scheme, don't I? We don't truly have room for a tree, but I am sorely tempted to acquire one of those adorable dwarf varieties(something with fruit, of course!) and perhaps I can plant it in the swale... we'll see!
I am going to have to add another envelope to the budget now, aren't I? "GARDEN" it will be named, and tools, soil, seeds, plants, hoses and a shed will all be forthcoming- I'm sure!
I've already got sugar pumpkin seeds all ready to trade- send us a note if you're interested!


  1. yay, you got it! i'm so excited for you. let me know how it works out!
    ps. it's not that bad looking! reminds me of the furnace in home alone ;P

    much love and prayers

  2. I suppose I've been thinking you still enclosed in that blue velvet blanket of snow, and here you are, two ladies out in the sunshine, acquiring another member of the family! And constructing him right there with your own hands!

    This is a milestone, and it paves the way for all sorts of blooms and vegetables and the blossom of apple-white onto the tree, and the heavy-hanging fruit right there at your door.

    I'm so pleased for you---our poor corner is a fenced-off square for the grass clippings and other plant material we throw in---I KNOW it's working well, for Shed Kitty (the big old marmalade Tom who has lived in the potting shed for several years) can often be found atop the pile in a good dry spot, basking in the warmth of all the activity and compost-heat from beneath.

    Brava, and Welcome, Billy!! I hope to hear more of his exploits soon.