While planning my move over to Somerville (yay!), I started nosing around the city website to learn about parking permits, trash pick-up and all that sort of new neighborhood stuff.
In small print, at the bottom of a Department of Public Works Environmental Services PDF, I came across this gem: Somerville offers a subsidized purchase (only $40!) of an Earth Machine home composting system to residents! How awesome is that? When I was growing up, my grandparents kept a compost pile (started by my great-grandparents)in the way back of their yard, behind the garden and with a few lilac shrubs conveniently surrounding it.
One of my summer jobs was to get out there with a shovel or pitchfork and turn that rich black soil once a week. I know that sounds kind of awful, but I really dug it (ha!), and even dedicated a whole science fair project to the benefits of growing in composted soil. (The project was called "Let it Rot!" and it took me all the way to the state science fair! Yeehaw!)
As an urban transient, hopping from one apartment to the next, and only once really having the benefit of a yard, I haven't really had the right opportunity to start my own compost. Not to mention the challenges of keeping an organic trash heap in a city setting. Alas, my time has come!
I've been thinking about composting a lot lately, or waste in general. For all of the home cooking I do, I generate a whole lot of food waste. After peeling and coring pound upon pound of apples, I stare at the pile of curly, fragrant peels and with a heavy heart drop them into the trashbin, or down the disposal. What a waste of rich organic material! Recycling is a critical component of managing and maximizing our food system. Knowing where your food goes is equally as important as knowing where it comes from.