What Lurks In My Compost

Feb 02, 2012 · 2 mins read
What Lurks In My Compost
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With the addition of the pigs to the homestead, we aren’t generating as much compost these days. All food and garden scraps are heading to the piggies instead. And when I do have something that the pigs won’t eat (not much, believe me!) I have been sending a kid out to throw it into the compost pile. I mean, that’s why I have children: to run things all over the homestead for me while I sit inside and eat bon-bons and watch my stories.

So imagine my surprise when, the other day while I was mowing, I drove by the compost bin and saw this:

Old potatoes added to the compost bin grew into potato plants

Apparently some of the old potatoes I tossed in a month or so ago decided the compost bin was a nifty place to start a little potato family.

And now, just to clarify, I DO mow the lawn – pretty much every week. But I live on an old neglected farm. While we are doing what we can just about every waking hour to put it back in order, it’s far from where it needs to be. So when I mow, I simply look straight ahead at the yard (which is in decent shape) and nowhere else lest I depress myself by seeing all that is left to do. And since the compost pile is surrounded by about five other old compost piles that are now big heaps of dirt I have to move, well, I choose to zoom right past without glancing it’s way.

Oh, and did you see that big leaf to the left of the compost bin in the photo above? That would be this:

A squash plant growing from an old squash tossed into the compost pileI have no idea what this will turn out to be. I mean, I know it is a squash of some sort but it could be yellow squash, zucchini, acorn, pumpkin, or who knows what. I haven’t added anything squashy to the pile since last summer or fall. Or it could have been from the previous owners and something they tossed in late last summer. Regardless of when or who, some of the seeds managed to plant themselves right beside the bin. Then, with the rain and heat we’ve had lately, well, this plant was born and is now growing strong.

While I wouldn’t plant potatoes and squash in my compost pile, I’m not going to turn my nose up to these volunteer plants. I mean, free food with absolutely no input on my part? Um, heck yeah! That’s my gardening dream right there! So we’ll just toss our scraps onto on of the five old compost piles until these babies are ready for harvest.

Now if only the “real” vegetable garden would be this easy.

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