We’ve had a beautiful Indian summer in Utah, and the last couple of weeks, I’ve come home from my Saturday run past my neighbors bagging their leaves. I asked them to drop the bags off at my house instead of the dump, and we layered them in our compost boxes as the “brown” layer to mix in with the “green.”
I’m told that grass clippings and leaves, mixed together, will break down and become perfect mulch in a matter of weeks. Also, you can poke holes in the bags of leaves and leave them over the winter, because the rain and snow will get in the holes, but so will air, letting them decompose. Mindy told me today that you can put PVC pipe with holes in it sticking out of your compost pile, to help it get air.
We almost had a very nice dead goldfish, Emma’s longtime pet, Bob, in our compost. Unfortunately, this conversation ensued upon Bob’s death today:
Me: Bob might not be dead, but he’s on his way there. You don’t want him to die slowly, do you? I don’t think that’s what he’d want.
Emma (looking at me with horror): But he’s not dead yet! You’re not going to put him in the compost pile, are you? The dogs might eat him.
Me: You know, most vegetarians would love the idea of dust-to-dust, ashes-to-ashes, Bob becoming part of the circle of life. He would be part of the earth, contributing to nutrients that feed our family someday. Remember when we went to the Plymouth village in Boston last year? All the native Americans putting a dead fish in each hole where they were planting corn? That’s how they got great corn.
Emma (testy now): That’s not why I’m a vegetarian. I don’t care about that. HEY! What did you do with my LAST fish that died, Nemo?
Me: Put it in the compost pile, I think.
Emma: You did WHAT!!?? You didn’t!
Me: Okay. I didn’t, then.