Yesterday the New York Times ran a piece on urban composting: an activity of intrepid city folks who refuse to let their waste go to waste. They find hideaway spots for their trays of worms and decomposing matter, with smells and flies kept at bay by the happily munching earthworms. It made us wonder: are you an urban composter?
Trays of vermiculture and soggy newspapers aren't the only avenue to urban composting, of course. Certain close relatives of ours are diehard composters with no garden space right now, so they freeze all their kitchen scraps and take bags back to friends in the country, friends with more expansive gardens and real compost piles.
There's also a more technologically-oriented solution. My husband and I received a NatureMill composter as a wedding gift last summer. We were extremely excited to get started with it, but it's been a learning curve. There's been smell, and mold, and the cranky behavior you expect of a two-year-old. We call it our baby, now, and we laugh at its slight eccentricities. It's a great gadget, and we love using it even more now that we've figured it out a bit.
But even technology-assisted composting takes some study. (And in full disclosure, we were traveling a lot during the fall and winter, so that neglect may have been the root cause of most of those problems!)
Once you've got it rolling, it is quite a thrill to see that rich, dense, black soil come out -- a feast for garden plants. We plan on feeding our vegetable garden very well in the spring!
We do hope that food composting becomes just as prevalent as recycling; it benefits the earth in so many ways.
• Read the Times piece: Urban Composting: A New Can of Worms
Related: San Francisco's Curbside Composting Program
(Images: Hiroko Masuike for The New York Times)