garden helper, pile o' stink

Despite the onslaught of early spring weather, I haven't been inspired to do much garden work lately. Maybe this is because it's still the month of March, and while the weather is warm and mild now, there could always be a surprise frost or two in the coming weeks, so best not to get too ahead of ourselves.

Today, though, I finally took a bit of initiative in the front yard, where I have started a couple of small vegetable beds. (Yeah, I know it's unconventional to grow veggies in the front yard, but that's where we have some sunshine, so I really don't care if anyone else thinks it's weird or ugly. Thank gods we live in the sort of neighborhood where nobody else really cares, either.) This afternoon, Anya and I went outside so I could clear out one of the beds, add some compost and plant spinach and carrots.

I was wearing a bandana and gardening gloves, so of course Anya needed them, too:

Like I said, I don't care what anyone thinks about growing tomatoes and salad in the front yard, but the stinky compost is another matter. We have an open pile now, so the smell isn't quite as piercing and pungent as it was a year ago, but it still ain't great. I spent some time stirring the compost and digging down to try and find something usable to add to the vegetable bed, and it was quite the noxious experience. Basically, the problem is, still, that the compost is too wet. We have so many kitchen scraps and not enough dry stuff like grass clippings and leaves mixed in. Our plan at this point is to start a second compost pile, try to keep it better balanced with dry stuff, and let the first pile break down on its own so we can actually use it. I'll let you know how it goes (because I know how riveted you are by the tales of my rotting onion skins and apple peels.)


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