Sunday, September 16, 2012

Garbage, the Natural Man.

In our kitchen underneath the sink and out of view is a ceramic canister about ten inches tall. It is our in-house repository for kitchen waste in the first stage of becoming garden compost. 

The lid of the canister has a unique feature. Multiple small holes of about a quarter-inch each encircle the center knob of the lid. Held in place by a small rim inside the lid is a foam pad. Thus air enters the canister, but odors are not escaping. Lifting the lid might relieve a strong and sometimes offensive odor of rotting vegetable parings and coffee grounds. The odor or lack thereof is the result of the actual mix inside and the length of time it has waited on me to empty it. With the simple lid in place, however, no one need be concerned of foul smells when opening the cabinet door. Odors are kept in the canister.

When the canister is full, I empty it outside into a larger version where yard clippings, this smelling mishmash from the kitchen and piles gathered from horse barns “cook” into a rich addition to the garden soil. The key to getting kitchen waste and other organic leftovers to become a mixture suitable for the soil is aeration. The larger composting cubicle has an open, half-inch wide, grid system running horizontally every five inches up and down all four sides to promote aerobic activity within the bin. It is a similar principle to the lid in the kitchen canister.

Composting is a telling metaphor on how we deal with the natural man. I’ll head down this path next in the Wildwood.


craigvick said...

Interesting metaphor. I look forward to seeing how you develop it. I can relate to keeping the lid on to hide some foul smelling stuff inside.

postmodern redneck said...

Like Craig, I'm looking forward to this. But my sardonic side thinks I have known some people who are "psycho-ceramics"--cracked pots. With some of them, the smell gets pretty bad despite the lid being on.