Last weekend, I ripped open the chicken-wired pile in my backyard and looked for compost. I’d been shoving my family scraps in the pile since December 2008, adding twigs, leaves, grass clippings and other matter at random.
The results were amazing. I got six times more compost than I thought I’d get, and the stuff would appear to be incredibly rich: bananas, apple cores, citrus skins, vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, tea bags: all decomposed into a huge pile of loam. I put a batch into storage, then spread the rest around the garden.
I also started making compost tea. The process: (1) Take an old sock; (2) Fill it with compost; (3) Steep it in a watering can for hours; (4) Water plants. It supposedly yields great results. We’ll see.
On Monday morning, I was out back, stuffing the sock. Abbie (15) asked Marie, “What’s Dad doing?” Marie told her I was making “compost tea” and explained how it’s made. Abbie got a disgusted look on her face and said, “Oh, that’s gross. That’s just so gross.” Marie looked at her, puzzled. Abbie responded, “He’s really going to drink that?”