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You Know You are a Compost Whacko When.......

11 years ago

This thread came from the Soil, Compost and Mulch forum. Don't laugh too much - if you are a serious gardener these symptoms will soon be appearing in you. Enjoy.

You Know You are a Compost Whacko When.......

Posted by ryanzone7 professor dirt (My Page) on Sun, Sep 15, 02 at 20:51 stand at the edge of a field that belongs to some complete stranger (150 miles from your own home) staring at the cow pies just layin there, wondering how to go about getting a couple of 'them thar piez' for your compost pile back home.(it's kinda like a pet animal. cept it's compost!) work on setting up new pallet bins at 11:30 at night. give a look of horror to a non-composter when they tell you they don't compost this or that.
As they look at you with horror when you tell them that you DO compost this or that.


* Posted by: jake_h z5 KS (My Page) on Sun, Sep 15, 02 at 21:44 water the grass to get some greens-not to make it look good. drive 30 miles to rake some leaves to get browns. let stuff get old in the fridge just so that you can compost.

...when poop is your best friend

* Posted by: Trudi_d 7, Long Island (My Page) on Sun, Sep 15, 02 at 22:03

I LOVE bush pruning day! All the prunings goes onto the lawn and whacked up with the's an instant mix of greens and browns.

Ferocious storms are cool too as all the leaves blow off the trees and limbs with branches come crashing down. Branches can be mowed into smaller pieces and limbs can get used as log-edging for beds. If you get enough you can make a new bed with everything. Frame it in with the limbs, chop up the branches with the lawnmower when you cut the grass, then dump the bag straight onto the soil in the newly created bed for mulch, wait a couple of weeks for it to heat up and cool down, and then plant through the mulch with shrubs or perennials.

* Posted by: CarrieB z6b/7a Phila. (My Page) on Sun, Sep 15, 02 at 22:31 spend countless hours in the nearby empty lot chopping up weeds - seedheads and all - in order to achieve critical mass to fill a recently emptied bin. schlep contractor bags full of weeds and clippings from the community garden (bypassing community piles) to add to home bins. find packages of putresceables tossed over the fence, like alms to the poor, and know it could have come from any number of sources.

...every so often you wonder how whacked your friends, family and colleagues really think you are. And occasionally, you wonder too.

* Posted by: eaglesc_technowhacko z7/8 SC (My Page) on Sun, Sep 15, 02 at 23:26 check this forum the last thing before you go to bed and then the first thing in the morning. plant winter rye in the fall so you can mow your lawn all winter for the greens for the fall leaves.

* Posted by: Erka Z8, Vancouver (My Page) on Sun, Sep 15, 02 at 23:31

...when the trunk of your car contains: tarp, gardening gloves, waterproof shoes and garbage bags in case you come across seaweed, horse manure or other "greens" drive up and down alleys and lanes, looking for bags of grass and leaves take the temperature of the compost more often than the temperature of a sick spouse or child

* Posted by: AlbertaR z6 LINY (My Page) on Sun, Sep 15, 02 at 23:50

...when your hubby breaks down and finally buys a pick-up truck so so he can haul horse manure in it without stinking up the mini-van.

...when a friend on the other side of the country asks, "Do you compost"? and you spend a half hour typing out all the ingredients you (I) use in the piles, including breaking down what is greens and browns. BTW, this happened for real on Friday night.

Looking forward to the end of summer, so just so I can chop all the plants up and toss them in the pile, all to start it all over again for next year.

* Posted by: Tiffy_z6aCan 6a (My Page) on Mon, Sep 16, 02 at 0:24 and your husband are seen and heard on the front lawn after it has been mowed discussing whether the clippings would be better used in the compost to heat things up or left as an amendment to the lawn. are seen at least 5 times a week walking through a shopping mall to get to your car lugging two 20 litre pails of chopped restaurant greens from each hand, and then explaining to people in the elevator what you're doing with them and actually talking with excitement in your voice. (I heard the word 'nuts' when the elevator door closed the other day.)

* Posted by: frostfreetemperate Coastal SoCal (My Page) on Mon, Sep 16, 02 at 0:32 go digging through the trash to retrieve compostables that your spouse threw away. When you take compostables home with you after taking the kids to see their grandparents (all three are too young to be embarrassed and my wife is immune).

* Posted by: Marty_H 6A Cincinnati (My Page) on Mon, Sep 16, 02 at 3:40 pull up this forum at 3-amazin-40 AM, after studying, before going to bed. Just to see what those other whackos are up to!

* Posted by: gertlee z5 Western NY (My Page) on Mon, Sep 16, 02 at 6:55 take the first week of October off from work because it's primetime for picking up your neighbor's grass clippings mixed with chopped-up leaves. Black gold!

* Posted by: ryanzone7 professor dirt (My Page) on Mon, Sep 16, 02 at 6:58 spend months looking for songs to "twist" into compost songs like; "Compost" instead of "Downtown" or "Moonflower" instead of "Moonshadow"

* Posted by: wormlady Aust (My Page) on Mon, Sep 16, 02 at 7:08

...when your husband is eying off the pile that you lovingly made and he wants to spread it. No way.

...when you have a finished pile and you think of it as black gold.

* Posted by: Robert_in_Paradise SunsetZone7CA (My Page) on Mon, Sep 16, 02 at 11:30 throw a birthday party for your 2 year old and then proceed to show all the other kids' parents your "dirt factory". Next you explain how pee is an important source of nitrogen and then invite them to go ahead and make a contribution if they wish.

* Posted by: Alfie_MD6 z6 MD (My Page) on Mon, Sep 16, 02 at 12:21

...when your husband tells your visiting mother-in-law to give you the moldy bran muffins from her car trip as her hostess present.

* Posted by: babsclare z5OH (My Page) on Mon, Sep 16, 02 at 12:21 let everyone think you buy veggies for your kids but in reality you relish the idea of those veggies going 'bad' in the crisper so you can compost them!(now that's just sick, isn't it.)

* Posted by: jjgump z5b OH (My Page) on Mon, Sep 16, 02 at 13:35 go out drinking all night just so you can come home and add some quality urine to your compost pile. stick your arm in the center of the pile before every softball game for good luck.

* Posted by: Don_B 9/10 So Cal (My Page) on Mon, Sep 16, 02 at 14:01

...your DW winces in pain whenever guests ask you "how's the garden" because she knows they've started something that will never stop.

* Posted by: popsiclepatti 8/Canada (My Page) on Mon, Sep 16, 02 at 14:33 cannot go on a holiday because ...."Who will feed look after the worm bin....we'll have to take it with us!"

* Posted by: petrowizard z5a IL (My Page) on Mon, Sep 16, 02 at 14:56

...when all of the posts on this thread sound like completely normal behavior..........

* Posted by: Miss_Ellie 6 NJ (My Page) on Mon, Sep 16, 02 at 15:09 lurk around the 4H fairs, anxiously awaiting closing time so that you can muck out the stalls -- right into your carefully pre-selected containers. Then, you come back the next day, having carefully cultivated friendships with those exhibitors who have the most compost to give!

* Posted by: kathyp z9 CA (My Page) on Mon, Sep 16, 02 at 15:15 pack up your compost piles and move them to your new house. ask your new neighbor to throw her grass clippings and fallen leaves over the fence into your yard. tell the contractor building your house not to throw away the scrap wood, because the pieces will make excellent sides for compost bins and raised beds. ask friends to save peels and other compostables, and then you send your kids over to pick them up.

...your yard is the envy of the neighborhood because your plants are so healthy and huge!!!!!!!

* Posted by: Lynng z6 Michigan (My Page) on Mon, Sep 16, 02 at 16:06 go to the city recycle center and PICK UP yard waste instead of dumping it. Last week I ended up with at whole pick up truck full of wood shavings!

* Posted by: cavamarie 9 FL (My Page) on Mon, Sep 16, 02 at 17:33 work 6 days a week in the office on a horse farm, and get up even earlier on your day off, to go BACK to work to park the truck at the broodmare barn so they can empty their wheelbarrows full of manure directly into your truck.

Me too, when I cant sleep, checking the forum to see what pearls of wisdom have been added to this list. stand out in the driving rain, after lovingly building a lasagna bed, watching the rain soak into the bed. Aaaahhhh.

...your are excited cause the highlight of next weekend will be BUYING WORMS!!!!

Pity the rest of the world, its US who's normal.

* Posted by: idgy z6 WV (My Page) on Mon, Sep 16, 02 at 20:11

Oh thank you for the affirmations! The feeling of spooning that black gold onto my friends, and imagining that I hear their deep breaths of thanks-addicting.

* Posted by: KimPA z6 PA (My Page) on Mon, Sep 16, 02 at 20:31 want to be best friends with everyone on this thread!

* Posted by: annp z5 ME (My Page) on Mon, Sep 16, 02 at 21:27

...when every 30 mile trip to the seashore means two -- one to gather the seaweed and another to return the non-dead hitchhikers. Today six crabs and numerous mussels got returned home to the shore.
(Oh, by the way, good! I was worried this new herd wasn't whacko enough.) and, petrowizard, nice try. You cannot be the most compost whacko without specific evidence.
Marty, go to bed. Now, you dam fool.
Alfie, whacko supreme, started this same thread a year and a half ago and thus began a lot of whacko bonding. Dear Alfie. Dear Professor, thanks for resurrecting it.

* Posted by: ryanzone7 professor dirt (My Page) on Tue, Sep 17, 02 at 6:33

Alfie hit the mark when she first thought up the original topic.
it's been my most favorite.
and it's one that I think strikes a cord with all of us!
and..... know you are compost a whacko when you try to convert everyone you encounter into a whacko.

* Posted by: Steve_in_Albuquerque z6 Albuquerque (My Page) on Tue, Sep 17, 02 at 8:08 wait for the water in the canal to dry up so you can collect carp for the pile of bark chips

* Posted by: Brit_G N TX (My Page) on Tue, Sep 17, 02 at 11:14 find yourself doing things you never would have dreamed of pre-compost, like raiding Home Depot's dumpster areas for broken bags they consider trash; go running EARLY in the morning with your dog so you can really scope other's bags of "yard waste" before they're collected; picking up those bags right after the run, rather than cooling off or taking a shower; putting quotation marks around "yard waste" because we know that's not an accurate phrase; making extra trips all over town to collect the buckets of kitchen scraps you've requested from all your friends & family; lay in bed at night, unable to sleep, because of the excitement of the new compost pile set-up you've been planning; read the other ideas on this thread & think, "why didn't I think of that" & specifically wonder how, as a female, is the easiest way to get my urine in the pile.

* Posted by: Apcohrs z5 IL (My Page) on Tue, Sep 17, 02 at 13:53 get all bent out of shape on vacation cause you cannot take all your leftovers home to the compost pile.

* Posted by: mulch_man z7b_SC (My Page) on Tue, Sep 17, 02 at 15:42 turn off the much hyped Monday Night Football game of the Redskins Fun-n-Gun vs. the Eagles crushing secondary because you hear rain and need to collect rainwater for your compost tea!!

* Posted by: Janet_LA z8b LA (My Page) on Tue, Sep 17, 02 at 19:57

...your husband (the teacher) walks into your Sunday school class announcing proudly "I brought you a present" and hands you an empty toilet paper roll. You just smile, say "thank you", and proceed to unwind it, flatten it, and put it in the outside pocket of your Bible cover. (wish I'd had a camera, lol)

* Posted by: Kathy92757 z6 PA (My Page) on Tue, Sep 17, 02 at 21:50 find yourself excitedly extolling the virtues of composting at a gathering of friends and notice more than one odd smile. start patting yourself on the back for 'giving back to the earth' (one of your set composting phrases) and bringing 'beauty into the world' (another standard composting/rose growing phrase) and consoling yourself with the fact that while the world may be going to ruin you are doing YOUR part to make it a better place by tossing putrescibles into the bins. start to notice that those frequently tossed tidbits of composting knowledge are starting to sound like college lectures....

* Posted by: Trudi_d 7, Long Island (My Page) on Tue, Sep 17, 02 at 22:58

I have a cantaloupe sitting and rotting on my picnic table. It was growing in the garden but the pill-bugs got to it.

I waiting for it to reach a certain moment of "squish-ability" so that when I heave it into the mulch pit I'll be encouraged to actually hurl it down so hard that it splats with a juicy-gishy sound and sprays its seeds and pulpy mass throughout the pit....coating everything in an eight foot radius and perhaps me too.

I may drink a glass of good wine first to toast its destruction.


I've been feeding my morning glories. They're becoming enormous.

* Posted by: crazyone zone 3 (My Page) on Wed, Sep 18, 02 at 1:46 keep checking this thread to see just how weird composters can be and if you relate to the post :-)

- cordially, your newly converted compostee

* Posted by: hayseedman zone5/6 (My Page) on Wed, Sep 18, 02 at 11:07 know you're a compost whacko when you get it backwards and start looking at your garden as food for your compost bin instead of the compost as food for your garden.

That's not me. However, I think maybe my friend Dave in the Hydrangea Forum might qualify:

"Do any of you fine folks know how to force Hydrangea Macs into dormancy. We haven't had any frost yet, but I'm thinking about readying my plants for winter storage, and was wondering if weaning them of water would encourage leaf drop. I realize that leaving the leaves on won?t be a problem, but I got 14 plants, and all that future green compost would look good in my compost bin. Any info appreciated, thanks.
Dave "

* Posted by: want2fly_00 CharlotteNC (My Page) on Wed, Sep 18, 02 at 12:50

... your partner tells you so... after you declare that we are not flying, but taking a car to Florida this Thanksgiving to see your parents in case there are some "compostables" to be found there and I want to bring them home. Think of it, I can pile them up car high that is more suitcases than they will let you take on the plane? can?t wait!

* Posted by: Luvwest z6b NW-AR (My Page) on Thu, Sep 19, 02 at 10:52 lovingly gaze at your still blooming patch of canna's and wonder whether to chop them down now, shred them and add them to the compost. Or, wait until the first frost. sigh...

* Posted by: Kathy_GA zone 7 (My Page) on Thu, Sep 19, 02 at 14:18're scanning the thread titles, see "Boy Scouts and composting" and your first thought is, "they've gone too far this time."

* Posted by: jajm4 z5 w. mass, usa (My Page) on Thu, Sep 19, 02 at 22:52 cry when you find out someone threw some rotten food out without asking you whether you wanted it first.... start thinking you don't want to be friends with so-and-so anymore because they don't compost are desperate to move when your landlady says no to a compost pile have your friends come in the middle of the night to take your worm bin to their house for a few days when you are having an inspection and can't hide it at your place. you smuggle it out under a blanket and everyone is absolutely terrified you'll get caught because they know that if that happens you will do something drastic and probably wind up homeless

but you don't care - it's worth it.

* Posted by: Linda_8B (My Page) on Thu, Sep 19, 02 at 23:27

Ah, the AA of composting! Take it one pile at a time and keep coming back, ya'll!

* Posted by: piegirl z5NELin (My Page) on Thu, Sep 19, 02 at 23:44 talked your best friend into bringing you real cow poop from her parents farm - in 20 lb bags and dried of course. Then this friend comes over yesterday and you proudly show her your new pile - layers of fresh cut grass, old leaves, and layers of black angus. Her eyes kinda glazed over and rolled back alittle "but you already have 3 piles. . . ." Her vehicle is nicknamed the poopmobile. Getting up early tomorrow a.m. to see if that new pile is steaming - so glad to be among friends - piegirl p.s only a really true friend would bring you bags and bags of real manure.

* Posted by: Miss_Ellie 6 NJ (My Page) on Fri, Sep 20, 02 at 15:36

...when the gentleman who kindly moves the carton overflowing with 1 lb ziploc bags of coffee grounds that you have dutifully brought home from work, and gingerly placed on the seat next to you on the bus, so that he can get the last seat, not only listens to you wax lyrical for the entire hour ride on the joys of composting...but asks for your number!

* Posted by: Brit_G N TX (My Page) on Fri, Sep 20, 02 at 18:08 have such a close, personal relationship with compost that it's willing to pick up men for you. (he he he, Miss Ellie. That was at your expense.)

* Posted by: veilchen z5 S. Maine (My Page) on Sun, Sep 22, 02 at 8:46 hesitate to show off your finished piles to certain gardening friends (who can't be bothered to save kitchen scraps and hoard leaves/grass, would be too embarrassed to ask at the grocery for scrap vegetables, are too lazy to haul seaweed, wouldn't dream of spending a day collecting manure) because they may ask again to "borrow" some compost.

* Posted by: jajm4 z5 w. mass, usa (My Page) on Sun, Sep 22, 02 at 13:30

that last one really burned my nerves!!! that would make me go from whacko to psycho!!!! no free haul for the squeaminsh!!!! you want my compost you give me your trash!!!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!

* Posted by: sjm_qc Z3/4 QC (My Page) on Sun, Sep 22, 02 at 14:15 check this forum before your email in the morning

...your kids collect OTHER kids' compostables as well as their own and bring them home from school in their lunch boxes.

... you volunteer to take on the school's create a garden project so you can get first dibs on the raw materials it will (eventually) generate, and the first thing you mark on the plans is a place for the pile

...while on vacation you save compostables and have a major blowup with your spouse about carting them home to the pile in the already overloaded car (the compost won that one BTW!) the snow melts in the spring you spend hours sitting on a rock just contemplating the pile as it emerges and you neighbours eventually come out to ask what you're doing...

* Posted by: sjm_qc Z3/4 QC (My Page) on Sun, Sep 22, 02 at 14:19

...although you have a raging fever and can hardly stand upright, you stop off to go to a lecture on composting on the way to the doctors and end up hauling the free bin you got at the end all the way to the hospital with you

* Posted by: foxbuild 6b (My Page) on Mon, Sep 23, 02 at 11:45 quite cleverly time your daughter's nap to coincide with optimal manure collecting conditions in order to ensure a sleeping child in the pick-up truck (as opposed to awake child climbing worlds biggest horse manure pile as you feverishly shovel), all the while, your eyes dart down side roads during the half-hour trip in search of curbside "goodies", the only thing that will keep you one minute off schedule. p.s., optimal manure collecting conditions include but are not limited to cooler temps., slight breeze and absence of DH! (he doesn't get it)p.s.s., my kids don't have asthma or allergies!

* Posted by: Brit_G N TX (My Page) on Mon, Sep 23, 02 at 14:40 get in the car which has been sitting in the hot sun & say "woo, what is that awful smell in here", then remember the bucket of compostables in the back you collected last Friday which has been sitting in it ever since. Then you suddenly LIKE the smell & get all giddy thinking about it.

* Posted by: flora_uk SW UK 8/9 (My Page) on Mon, Sep 23, 02 at 15:56

...when your car is full of fruit flies.

* Posted by: Apcohrs z5 IL (My Page) on Mon, Sep 23, 02 at 16:01

Fruit FLIES !!!!! YES!

* Posted by: TBLadybug z9 CA (My Page) on Wed, Sep 25, 02 at 20:50

...your chiropractor asks how you're doing and you wrench around to say, "OOOOOHHHH! My husband
made me a beautiful composting bin!" and then proceed to tell her how to fix her dripping, stinky, oozing pile (just read it here the other day!)

I can't stop wriggling cause I have a bootiful new bin! 2 bins wide, made all of recycled wood and
tomato caging from around the yard :) HAPPY DANCE!

And I think its cute that my dogs want to dig in the piles. I had to put closures on the side doors
of the bins to keep them from helping themselves. They're happy composting puppies too!

* Posted by: Trudi_d 7, Long Island (My Page) on Wed, Sep 25, 02 at 22:06 remember back to your "early years" when you longed for something better than a 14 year old POS Chevette with a hatchback to drive around in.

The hatchback is now fondly remembered and direly missed.

* Posted by: albert_135 ) on Thu, Sep 26, 02 at 15:07 live in a tiny apartment with room for a ficus and one other plant AND YOU STILL FOLLOW THE COMPOST FORUM DAILY!

* Posted by: Nelz z5a/6 NW PA (My Page) on Thu, Sep 26, 02 at 15:30

I couldn't even read this list I was crying so hard and I thought I was going to wet myself. I know some of these were used, but these all fit me. rent a pick-up for the weekend solely for collecting bagged leaves, and other garden amendments. You then ask the rental agent about just how clean it has to be upon return. ask total strangers about their lawn care practices and hope they say they do nothing (no chem services)

...your neighbors actually call you before raking to see if you'll be around to accept the leaves drool over the manure piled on carts at the county fair and wonder (aloud to DW) who to ask about getting a few dumped at your place

...a side effect of juicing is a healthier you. After you do juice for the fine addition to the pile. maybe late in the season, but plant all those old unreliable germinating seeds anyway. If no veggies before frost, at least you've got compost material.

I don't quite consider myself a whacko, but this thread is too funny. I'll have to keep it for therapy in mid winter when a pitchfork won't even penetrate my pile.

* Posted by: pjwould z5 MI (My Page) on Thu, Sep 26, 02 at 17:52

... you see a certain person (who's a mere acquaintance, actually) once or twice a year at a party, and the first thing she always says to you is, "Do you want some horse manure? We have plenty! Come and get it!"

... you listen in disbelief as your second-grader's friend's father, who's also a fairly new acquaintance, bemoans the fact that he doesn't know what to do with all the oak leaves he rakes up every fall. "The leaves are really a big problem," he says. Then, when you ask if he'll give them to you, he says incredulously, "Do you really want them?"

* Posted by: GrannyAnt ACT Aust (My Page) on Thu, Sep 26, 02 at 21:27

I cornered a young man behind the fruit/veg shop the other day and he graciously, but with sort of a frown and a rather quizzical look, dived into the hopper for me to collect the greens that I couldn't reach for the chooks and bunnies., and I couldn't help but laugh at his query, "do you come here often? - - -er, uh, I mean, do you often do this?" Nearest thing I've had to a chat-up in years. lol . . . Granny

* Posted by: Luvwest z6b NW-AR (My Page) on Thu, Sep 26, 02 at 21:55

albert 135, you need a worm bin!
check out the vermicomposting forum.

* Posted by: Miss_Ellie 6 NJ (My Page) on Thu, Sep 26, 02 at 23:01

If this were a meeting for a 12 step program, instead of a forum, the dialog would go something like this:

Standing with my eyes downcast, surveying the floor, hunched in a "dog-with-its-tail-between-its-leg look" I would say:

"I'm Eleanor T. and I'm, I'm a composter..."
The crowd responds.."welcome Eleanor.."
"I'm kinda new to composting, but, I think I'm in trouble..Today, I signed up for horseback riding lessons, so I could get as much access as possible to the manure and bedding..I told my family its because I have been wanting to learn since I was a little girl. But, but I know the truth, I know its because I really just want to keep adding that beautiful manure to my pile. I'm lying to my family and friends about my composting now!"

"It's OK, Ellie, your among friends.."
"We've all been there, Ellie, you can tell us..."

* Posted by: Brit_G N TX (My Page) on Fri, Sep 27, 02 at 11:09

"I've, I've gotten to the point of pressuring my boyfriend to pee in the pile when he comes over. I've almost forbidden use of the bathroom to him."

* Posted by: ellen_s z5 MA (My Page) on Mon, Sep 30, 02 at 9:06

Oh my!! I never thought I could laugh so hard about compost :-) Thanks for the giggles!!!!

...when high winds cause an enormous branch of one of your maple trees to fall to the ground, instead of lamenting the damage to the tree, you look at it and think "oh good, there are loads of leaves on that branch that I can shred for my compost pile"!!

* Posted by: Adina Zone 7, Atl GA (My Page) on Tue, Oct 1, 02 at 10:36

I had a dream that I used my tomato bed as a--well, as a *bed*. I remember thinking in the dream that it was just a little too long for my full-sized sheets to fit right. It was so soft and fluffy and inviting after adding all that compost, after all....

* Posted by: Annie_nj z6b (My Page) on Tue, Oct 1, 02 at 14:47

... you are on a drive-thru "safari" and you point out all the large piles of poop to your kids instead of the lions and tigers.

* Posted by: jade13 z8 WA ) on Tue, Oct 1, 02 at 16:07

composting a whole cow hmm... start looking at your seed-fed birds droppings as little gems. have dreams that you are trekking through marsh and woods in search of the perfect compost. dream you are at the zoo asking if they allow you to take the elephant poo and it turns out to be a nightmare when their response is no we incinerate it!

* Posted by: manifoldsky zone 6, PA (My Page) on Tue, Oct 1, 02 at 16:59 seriously consider quitting your job so that you can go to work with the local city garden waste collection department so that you can get PAID to compost full-time

* Posted by: manifoldsky zone 6, PA (My Page) on Tue, Oct 1, 02 at 17:00 QUIT your job so that you can go to work with the local city garden waste collection department so that you can get PAID to compost full-time.

* Posted by: manifoldsky zone 6, PA (My Page) on Tue, Oct 1, 02 at 4:06 have yellowing leaves on your plants, so you eat as much meat as you can, drink 8 litres of soda and camp out in the bathroom.

* Posted by: PegR 6 (My Page) on Mon, Sep 30, 02 at 10:22 know you've gone over the edge when you have dinner with friends and they offer you a bag of potato peelings and coffee grounds on your way out . . .

* Posted by: Carpe_Diem_lilies z9 TX (My Page) on Thu, Oct 3, 02 at 3:42 have your local power company's phone # on "speed dial," and call them every week from spring through fall to ask WHERE they'll be cutting (and mulching!) tree limbs around power lines - because if it's within a few miles of you, they'll gladly dump a full truck-load of mulched greens & browns wherever you ask them to, rather than PAY to haul it to the dump! Oh, JOY!

* Posted by: Luvwest z6b NW-AR (My Page) on Thu, Oct 3, 02 at 15:15 understand the meaning of life...........ialbtc

* Posted by: cjlambert 6b Tulsa (My Page) on Thu, Oct 3, 02 at 16:15 empty the lunch bags each evening and are thrilled to find baggies of banana peels and coffee grounds

I'm making my first batch of compost tea and found great suggestions in this forum and want to thank everyone! My husband turned me on to composting and he's my chief conspirator. He hurries to work in the morning to make all three pots in the coffee machine, then steals the grounds before anyone else gets there.

* Posted by: pjwould z5 MI (My Page) on Mon, Oct 7, 02 at 13:06 go for a walk and note a moving van pulled into the driveway at a nearby house. Instead of thinking about doing the neighborly thing (welcoming the new neighbors to the hood), you covet their large cardboard cartons (wardrobe boxes!) and wonder how you can snag them.

* Posted by: Brit_G N TX (My Page) on Mon, Oct 7, 02 at 16:51

...your boss says, while referring to a possible real estate deal going through, "It's realy heating up", & you look at him a second, confused, because you really think he's talking about your compost pile at home & wonder what that has to do with what ya'll had been talking about. You go further to say "thanks for asking. Yeah, it's going pretty well. I got out this weekend & turned it". Maybe I can compost all that egg on my face.

* Posted by: Alfie_MD6 z6 MD (My Page) on Mon, Sep 30, 02 at 10:38 write poetry about compost. Yes, I mean you, pj.

Gold Leaves and Brown

--with apologies to Dr. Seuss, who was born March 2, 1904


Gold leaves and brown!
Gold leaves and brown!
I do not like
gold leaves and brown!

I do not shred leaves,
gold or brown.
I do not spread them
on the ground.

Would you shred them
here or there?

I would not shred them
here or there.
I would not shred them
I do not shred
gold leaves and brown.
I do not spread them
on the ground.

Would you shred them
at Tom's house?
Would you shred them
with your spouse?

I would not shred them
at Tom's house.
I would not shred them
with my spouse.
I would not shred them
here or there.
I would not shred them
I do not shred gold leaves or brown.
I will not have them on the ground.

Would you toss them
in a box?
Would you mix in
guts of lox?

Not in a box.
Nor guts of lox.
Not at Tom's house.
Not with my spouse.
I would not shred them here or there.
I would not shred them anywhere.
I would not shred gold leaves or brown.
I will not spread them on the ground.

Would you? Could you?
With annp?
Try it! Try it!
And you'll see.

I would not,
could not,
with annp.

You may like it
with annp.
You may like weeds
from the sea!

I would not like weeds from the sea,
Nor with annp! You let me be.

I won't shred leaves! Nor do I wish
To mix them up with bits of fish!
I do not lay them in a trench.
I do not stash them 'neath a bench.
I do not shred leaves here or there.
I do not shred them anywhere.
I do not shred in Hingham, Mass.
I will not have them on the grass!

A bin! A bin!
A bin! A bin!
Could you, would you,
in a bin?

Not in a bin! Not with annp!
And not with weeds plucked from the sea!

I would not, could not, ever wish.
To mix up leaves with scraps of fish.
I will not throw them in a pit.
I will not mix in bunny ****.
I will not shred them here or there.
I will not shred them anywhere.
I do not shred gold leaves or brown.
I do not like them on the ground.

With Marty_H!
Would you shred with Marty_H?

I wouldn't, couldn't
with Marty_H.

Would you with professor dirt?

I could not, with professor dirt,
Nor Marty_H, nor till it hurt.
Nor with annp, nor near the sea,
I won't shred leaves at all, you see.
Not at Tom's house. Not with my spouse.
Not with a box or bits of lox.
I will not shred leaves here or there.
I will not shred them anywhere!

Then would you heap
them whole, like Sand?

I do not
want leaves
on my land!

Would you shred them
as you wed?

I would not,
could not,
as I wed!

Would you
add a crow
that's dead?

I could not add a crow that's dead,
I could not, would not, as I wed.
I could not with professor dirt.
I would not cache leaves in a yert.
Not with annp! Not near the sea!
Not in a bin heaped to my chin!
I won't mix leaves with used-up grounds.
You will not see me making rounds.
I won't go on a nightly raid.
I will not join your leaf brigade.
I will not shred leaves here or there.
I do not want leaves ANYWHERE!

I do not shred
gold leaves
or brown!

I will not have them
hanging round!

But would you shred them in New York?
And could you fluff them with a fork?
I could not, would not, in New York.
I would not, could not, with a fork.

Then could you shred them in B.C.?
Or up in Calumet, U.P.?
I could not shred them in B.C.!
I would not shred in the U.P.!
I could not shred at dusk or dawn.
I do not want leaves on my lawn!

Would you, with Alfie, in Zone 6?
Could you grind them up with sticks?
I would not, could not, in Zone 6!
I could not grind them up with sticks.

Or would you mow them up with grass?
And could you take a second pass?
I would not mow them up with grass.
I could not take a second pass!

You don't shred leaves
Or so you say.
Try it! Try it!
And you may.
Try it and you may, I say.

Oh, geez.
If you will let me be,
I will try it.
You will see.

I like leaves shred and down!
I do! I like them on the ground!
And I would mix in horsey poop.
And I would mix it with the Froup!

And I would shred leaves with Bill_G,
And even moisten them with pee.
I'd shred with Monte, East or West!
I'd even shred with LeslieS.

I'd shred with Alfie, in Zone 6!
I'd gladly grind leaves up with sticks!
And I would mow them up with grass.
And I would take a second pass.
I'd mix them up with used Starbucks.
And happ'ly trade my cars for trucks.
And I would murmur Oui, j'adore,
As I shred leaves forevermore....

I do so like
gold leaves and brown!
I do!
I'll spread them
on the ground!

* Posted by: pjwould z5 MI (My Page) on Mon, Sep 30, 02 at 15:30

Alfie, thanks. You made my day.


* Posted by: Miss_Ellie 6 NJ (My Page) on Mon, Sep 30, 02 at 16:17

Bravo pj!!!! And thanks so much for sharing with us Alfie! Suitable for framing doesn't begin to describe your poem's brilliance. It requires an illuminated manuscript page with glorious calligraphy, and scenes of hoes, piles, tilling, and compost forks in the borders. Magnificent!

* Posted by: annp z5 ME (My Page) on Mon, Sep 30, 02 at 19:32

Our pj! (Thank you, Alfie.)

* Posted by: Marty_H 6A Cincinnati (My Page) on Mon, Sep 30, 02 at 20:13

That is one great poem! Always to be cherished!

* Posted by: Trudi_d 7, Long Island (My Page) on Mon, Sep 30, 02 at 20:21

That's a really cool poem. Who's got the codes to upload the FAQs?....I think that should go into the FAQs!




* Posted by: veilchen z5 S. Maine (My Page) on Tue, Oct 1, 02 at 7:10

Still as funny as the first round, pj!

* Posted by Alfie_MD6 z6 MD (My Page) on Sat, Jan 25, 03 at 9:13

...your baby is in the hospital for dehydration (she's fine now), and you give your sweet husband the pre-mixed formula she doesn't finish at each feeding to take home for the compost. (But you hide this practice from the nurses because you couldn't even begin to explain it.) (And you consider hiding it from your fellow wackos as well, since it violates the bans on dairy and fats, but in the end you decide to 'fess up.)

* Posted by: Kay_H NE MI-Z5 (My Page) on Sat, Jan 25, 03 at 12:52

Last week I threatened my darling husband with physical harm if he dared to throw the coffee grounds into the garbage just one more time. Still trying to figure out that look he gave me.

* Posted by: compost_fascist 5 A-B (My Page) on Sat, Jan 25, 03 at 15:09

When you come in to this forum and even read the tedious techie postings, hoping to find some (smidgin of sanity and/or down to earth) details of composting.

* Posted by: MaryAnn_____Chgo 5 (My Page) on Sat, Jan 25, 03 at 15:23 read everything the Science Majors contribute here even tho' next to nothing really sinks into my small sponge of a brain.

* Posted by: Ohio_Green_Thumb Zone 5 NW Ohio (My Page) on Sat, Jan 25, 03 at 18:44

...when you buy fresh fruit and veggies and the first thought that that enters your head is that you can compost the stems and peels before you even think about how much more nutritious they are compared to canned or frozen veggies. I also specifically buy certain foods because I know my worms will enjoy the rinds after the meal. Compost first, then everything else!

* Posted by: ryanzone7 professor dirt (My Page) on Sat, Jan 25, 03 at 18:54 have no fear about composting anything.

....while eating in a restaurent you actually hear someone at another table say the word compost and you strain your ears to hear as much as you can and you consider moving to their table!
It all leads back to compost!

* Posted by: babsclare z5OH (My Page) on Sat, Jan 25, 03 at 20:34 watch movies such as "The Brotherhood of the Wolf"(and many others nowadays it seems)and instead of noting the wonderful(?) acting or great plot, etc.,you are most struck by all those compostable leaves piled upon the forest floor and you think silently to yourself, "I want those....I wonder if those leaves are still there...where did they shoot these scenes...LOOK at all those LEAVES." and the problem becomes that you cannot for the life of you concentrate on what the heck the movie is even about.It's all about compost and where you can find your next batch of OGM to satisfy your composting habit.I think I need help.

* Posted by: Trudi_d 7, Long Island (My Page) on Sat, Jan 25, 03 at 20:44 buy canteloupes on sale and watch them form little soft spots and they start to cave in. So much more fun than actually carving them up and eating them. And then is the truly exciting part. I have a compost pit and if I smash the rotting melon down hard enough into the pit it makes a very soul-satisfying Splaffftt sound when it breaks apart. I have to do it on the run otherwise I get sprayed with gishy canteloupe parts and seeds which are annoying to comb out of your hair.

* Posted by: MOgardener z5MO (My Page) on Sat, Jan 25, 03 at 20:53

....your aged pet sheep who has given you her beautiful black fleece her whole life is sick and may die and you see a link on one of the veterinary sites about composting dead sheep.

....when you talk to a health food store owner about selling winter salad greens from your cold greenhouse and tell her you will bring home what doesn't sell between deliveries just so you can compost what's not edible.

....when a lady with whom your husband works sends her coffee grounds to you, he has to be the courier and doesn't particularly appreciate that job. Isn't he a darling!?

* Posted by: spambdamn_rich z9 CA Sunset 15 (My Page) on Sat, Jan 25, 03 at 21:40

...when you have a pleasurable dream about hot composting...

* Posted by: Trudy z5 IA (My Page) on Sat, Jan 25, 03 at 21:50

...when you think you need to go out to your compost pile with a broken foot, (with the walker that MaryAnn sent to you), in -28 degrees, to turn compost that others think does not needed to be turned in the winter! Dont worry I didnt go. That was on Thursday, but believe me it is going to be maybe in the 40s this week, and I am going to the compost pile.

...when your husband is chipping Christmas trees, and you are sitting on the ground, crawling around on the ground because you have a broken foot, hand trimming the branches for my husband. The neighbors really think that I am a WACKO. Only two more weeks on the crutches, and another month with the walking boot, hopefully!

* Posted by: Belgianpup Wa/Zone 8 (My Page) on Sat, Jan 25, 03 at 22:56

...when your neighbor down the street has had her grass-only yard dethatched, & the gardener has left 38 bags of mowed and thatched grass by the curb for the garbage man, and you wait until after darkness falls to sneak out with your hand truck to collect them, two or three at a time. Up and down the street, sweating in the hot Las Vegas night, bag after bag, because you CAN'T leave ANY bags (that's WASTE).

And, when the bags are safely in the back yard, out of sight, you collapse with a cold glass of iced tea, and you start getting phone calls from the neighbors:

"WHAT are you DOING???"

And after you get the trimmings spread out all over the yard, you see the only neighbor that didn't watch you the night before staring at what looks fence-to-fence grass where only desert stood the day before.

"WHAT are you DOING, laying sod???"

* Posted by: Nelz z5b/6 NW PA (My Page) on Sun, Jan 26, 03 at 0:20

We got this one going again?! Alright, I just can't read it too late at night for fear of laughter waking the fam! Let's hear it for microbe liberators! aka leave and lawn debris thieves.

I loved the staring at a restaurant one (and the others too).

You know you're a whacko when... volunteer to clean out the fridge so your DW (or DH) doesn't accidentally throw away the pre-cursor form of that black gold. snow blow a path to the pile so you can get there easier. take the snow shovel with you so you can dig out the leaf pile to have some browns to cover your kitchen scraps, even though they'll be frozen solid in a matter of hours (or maybe minutes). you first master gardener class when everyone is introducing themselves to the class, you mention your affinity for the black gold and ask anyone if they have extra bags of leaves they could bring next week. BTW, no takers (or would it be bringers), we had composting in our first class so those who don't, are now.

* Posted by: PBSJones Sacramento 9 (My Page) on Sun, Jan 26, 03 at 0:59

To add a bit to Babsclare's post . . .'re watching "Cold Comfort Farm" and Seth, the doe-eyed, muscle-bound farmhand is pitching manure into a wagon, and all you can think is, "Ooh, it's steaming..!"

* Posted by: jxbrown z11 CA (My Page) on Sun, Jan 26, 03 at 1:31

You are looking longingly at a spilled garbage bag of vegetable scraps on the ground and your DH, looking upward, says, "Oh look, you can see the Eiffel Tower from here!"

* Posted by: KsKent z5/6 Ks (My Page) on Sun, Jan 26, 03 at 6:52

...when your DW throws the coffee grounds out of the coffee maker in the trash when she cleans it, and you are irritated because it would be better to never clean the coffee maker than waste those good coffee grounds.

* Posted by: AlbertaR z6 LINY (My Page) on Sun, Jan 26, 03 at 7:13 know you are a compost wacko...when visiting a sick friend a the hospital you spot a banana peel on her tray that is about to be removed and grab a napkin, wrap the banana peel in it and put it your coat pocket. Said friend, just sighed and shook her head, :)

* Posted by: Willowtrree uk (My Page) on Sun, Jan 26, 03 at 8:41

...when you read these postings and can sympathize with them ALL.

...when you are peeling your veg for dinner and its getting smaller & smaller & thinner & thinner, then disappears, and you have to start again.

...when you realize your family are also becoming smaller & smaller & thinner & thinner........

* Posted by: kepster Z3 VT (My Page) on Sun, Jan 26, 03 at 9:15

I think I'm in love with every single one of you!

* Posted by: Auntiekathleen Maine 4 (My Page) on Sun, Jan 26, 03 at 9:28 see the heading "You know you're a compost wacko (again) when...", noticing that Alfie started it (again), and you actually read an on-topic post before going to conversations. (I'm going over to conversations now.)

* Posted by: Bill_G PNW OR (My Page) on Sun, Jan 26, 03 at 10:55

...(not to shock sensibilities here) .. when on your daily trek to work you walk past where someone sick "deposited" on the sidewalk, you grab a handful of wet leaves from under a bush, cover the mess, and then marvel as it all disappears over the ensuing weeks.

And Alfie, that milk is great for the lawn. Give it a fling. It will disappear in no time.

* Posted by: NotEnoughRoses 7b/NTX (My Page) on Sun, Jan 26, 03 at 14:39 make all your baby's food because you want the rinds and peels that making it will generate. Why pay some company to mash a banana or sweet potato for you when you can mash your own and *Bonus* have the peel for your pile!
Alfie - I had to pump for several weeks before my premature baby was strong enough to nurse and I always dumped his left-over bottles out the front door and into whatever flower pot looked like it needed a boost. Have to say, some of those plants never looked so good!
And - a year later - I am still mourning the fact that I could not compost my placenta!
Oh, and I also know that a car seat takes up the amount of space as three bags of leaves. And, since it isn't nice to bury your child under bags of leaves, you have to make a lot more trips if you happen to find a windfall of bagged leaves. (I thought about asking the neighbor to babysit for 10 minutes so I could cram all the leaves into my car in one trip, but decided she wouldn't understand so I just made a few more trips. Luckily, son slept through all this...)
And - all your neighbors already know that you are not allowed to bring home any more Christmas trees - but if a tree were to find its own way to your house, you are allowed to "keep" it... Now the neighbors bring their trees over so I can claim innocence and not get into trouble with the DH. ~ Suzie

* Posted by: Dirty_Digger QLD Aust (My Page) on Sun, Jan 26, 03 at 18:54

...when you have been a way for a month and the only thing you can think of on the plane home is what the compost looks like! Black Gold- my finest ever :))))

* Posted by: wavesmom sf calif (My Page) on Sun, Jan 26, 03 at 19:32

...when you are thinking about selling your house and moving and you have two thoughts: 1. the compost pile will drastically increase the price of the house, even more than a pool, probably, and 2. what if the new people don't take care of it? What if, oh my God, they STOP??? Can I make it a contingency of the sale that they follow my explicit instructions?

...when you instantly become the coolest mom on the block because you let all the neighborhood boys PP in the pile.

...when your neighbors KNOW you have gone over the edge because you let all the neighborhood boys PP in the pile.

...when you drive to another town and think about moving there because they have so many more trees and leaves and lawns than you do.

* Posted by: Nora_in_Vancouver 8b Wet Coast (My Page) on Mon, Jan 27, 03 at 0:01

...when it's only January and you have already used up half your stockpile of fall leaves, and you are starting to panic about what to do about browns when summer hits.

* Posted by: Joylene Vic.Australia (My Page) on Mon, Jan 27, 03 at 3:32

There have been a couple of feral cats put into our compost lately. They disappear in days in this summer Aussie heat! Joylene, in Southern Australia where it was 44oC under the verandah two days ago.

* Posted by: GNHering Zone6 NJ (My Page) on Mon, Jan 27, 03 at 20:00

...when you buy clementines at $5.00 a box instead of 10 oranges for 1.99 because clementine rinds will compost quicker....and you go through your kitchen garbage to retrieve what compostables your wife threw out.

* Posted by: eaglesc_technowhacko z7/8 SC (My Page) on Mon, Feb 3, 03 at 19:09

...when you find out that your boss's pigeon coop needs cleaning and you show up with 3 garbage cans and a fork and load up to your hearts content

* Posted by: Kelly_Slocum sw WA state (My Page) on Mon, Feb 3, 03 at 20:12

...while sitting in an upscale Dallas restuarant on a Friday night you and a group of colleagues are so engrossed in an animated discussion of composting/vermicomposting human cadavers that you fail to recognize the fact that you've offended every patron within earshot until the manager politely asks if your group would like to move to a table in a private room.

* Posted by: Marty_H 6A Cincinnati (My Page) on Mon, Feb 3, 03 at 20:47

(oooo, Kelly gets some sort of special award for that one!)

* Posted by: Nelz z5b/6 NW PA (My Page) on Mon, Feb 3, 03 at 21:06

vermicomposting cadavers, you're killing me! You obviously weren't in the restaurant where ryanzone7 was.

Joylene, are you actually composting the cats? That's cool, well I guess 44C (111.2F) isn't exactly cool.
I almost pee my pants when I read this. Gotta' run to the pile!

* Posted by: mtnbkr Boise/z6 (My Page) on Tue, Feb 4, 03 at 0:21

I confess--At work I put my banana peels, orange peels, etc. from my lunch into my sandwich baggie and take them home to the compost. When no one is looking I sometimes take someone else?s peel out of the garbage. Please don't tell my wife. Shhhhhhhh.......

* Posted by: Ohio_Green_Thumb Zone 5 NW Ohio (My Page) on Tue, Feb 4, 03 at 7:51

Aaaah! Tom, I've done the exact same fact I do this every week right before the garbage cans are emptied. I do my garbage digging very early in the morning before everyone else gets here! LOL I'm glad I'm not the only one who's doing this!

* Posted by: wavesmom sf calif (My Page) on Tue, Feb 4, 03 at 9:52


Someone at our office just re-did the recycling center and included a compost bucket. There are 15 of us here, mostly vegetarians, so we generate lots of material, plus all those coffee grounds and tea bags. No one else seems interested, so I get the results! Now I no longer have to come in early to sift through the trash.

It's a beautiful morning.

* Posted by: PegR 6 (My Page) on Tue, Feb 4, 03 at 11:31 get home from staying with your elderly parents who *both* underwent surgery in the same week (they're fine) and one of your first projects is to check out your compost pile to see if anything changed.

Sadly, the compost pile is frozen solid, but it helped me relax.

* Posted by: Kathy92757 z6 PA (My Page) on Tue, Feb 4, 03 at 21:57

...when you daydream about future composting....when you worry about the future compost because you are going to be out of town twice during compost season...when you worry that this same compost will be thoroughly ignored by your partner while you are out of town...

* Posted by: samiam_AB z3 AB (My Page) on Thu, Feb 6, 03 at 0:15

This link is hysterical. My contribution...when you overhear your four year old instructing his little friend that THIS pile is for recycling, THIS pile is for compost, and don't put anything in THIS pile (the garbage) 'cause Mommy will move it...

* Posted by: Nelz z5b/6 NW PA (My Page) on Thu, Feb 6, 03 at 0:52


I'd make that big and bold but I don't know how!

Nice job! You may now be in a quandry. Do I share the benefits of composting or not, realizing when others are converted there's going to be some wrestling going on for the compost bucket!

* Posted by: Trudi_d 7, Long Island (My Page) on Thu, Feb 6, 03 at 9:43 spend hours reading inspirational literature so you can develop enough courage to ask at the little corner grocer if you could raid his dumpster for the outdated veggies. find a quote from Shakespeare "our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt." and feel moved by it enough to enter into the store and buy a loaf of crusty bread....a beginning, at least.

* Posted by: nonAPI z5 UTAH (My Page) on Thu, Feb 6, 03 at 10:21 call for a moment of silence for those who need strength to overcome their fear of biotics and then spend several hours alone with your compost pile.

* Posted by: ryanzone7 professor dirt (My Page) on Thu, Feb 6, 03 at 20:29

You know you're a compost wacko (again) when.......
as you nurse a recent(and very painful) separated shoulder, you still stop on the side of the road to pick up (with your good arm) parts of a straw bale that fell off (and broke apart) of someone's truck and ended up on the roadside.

* Posted by: TikTok z8 W WA (My Page) on Thu, Feb 6, 03 at 21:27

...while clipping your finger nails, you wonder if the trimmings are compostable...? I figured probably, but didn't do it. Maybe I'm not quite a wacko yet...!

* Posted by: erphy waikato NZ (My Page) on Fri, Feb 7, 03 at 5:25

...when you take the name erphy and recognise your behaviour in these other many of us and yet so far...I cook to to compost and primarily gardened but now i garden to compost...for ever feeding the geddies mouths..we now cut our own hair (and that of our friends on the condition they contribute to the compost)...a compost wacko?...when you lobby your neighbours for contributions....when you find yourself weeding as there is a space in a bin that requires filling....When you carry bags and spades in the car ready to reap....when you transfer compost by hand and get in a hugh ugly mess and you love it...see orange peel as a chop every thing 5 cm long all about making a cake... yup I?m in

* Posted by: erphy waikato NZ (My Page) on Fri, Feb 7, 03 at 6:00

ooohh thought of another one... you comb the cat daily so she can contribute to the compost too....When you?re eating watermelon and you get a hit from seeing the rinds mount up...when giving away vegetables you give only the bare keep the cook at work happy with year round herbs so she gives you her veggie go fishing to catch sprats to make tea for a compost accellerator....enough now...I know I?ve got it good

* Posted by: palyne Zone6 NE OK (My Page) on Fri, Feb 7, 03 at 12:01

This morning, minding my own business, I heard the lyrics,

And when I'm dead
If you could tell them this
That what was wood
Became alive
What was wood
Became alive...

[Suzanne Vega]

And I thought of composting. Now you see? I am not even composting YET and already you guys have helped warp my brain! I've had phases where I thought of a love every time I turned on the radio. Great. Now I hear music, and I think of compost! LOL!

* Posted by: Demeter z6 NJ (My Page) on Fri, Feb 7, 03 at 12:16

When you hum the following song to yourself:

If I should die before I wake,
All my bone and sinew take
Put me in the compost pile
To decompose me for a while
Worms, water, sun, will have their way,
Returning me to common clay
All that I am will feed the trees
And little fishies in the seas.
When radishes and corn you munch,
You may be having me for lunch
And then excrete me with a grin,
Chortling, "There goes Lee again."
Twill be my happiest destiny
To die and live eternally.

"In Dead Earnest (Lee's Compost Song)," words by Lee Hays (1979), music by Pete Seeger (1979), copyright Sanga Music Inc.

* Posted by: ajourni z6a PA (My Page) on Sat, Feb 8, 03 at 9:44

...when someone at work throws coffee grounds away, and you panic and try to fish them back out...

...when your mother's friend works at a coffee shop, and you plan to ambush her at your sister's baby shower and discuss used coffee grounds... wonder why people pay for coffee, and throw away the best part... can't sleep at night worrying about all the wasted 'liquid nitrogen' that is flushed every day... make major lifestyle changes based on threads in the SCM forum with titles like, "For women only," and "Sawdust and urine"... view being called "whacko" as the highest possible honor.

* Posted by: Nelz z5b/6 NW PA (My Page) on Sat, Feb 8, 03 at 14:53

Bill_G - for a moment there I wasn't sure what you were going to do, but I see discretion won out! take a small bucket with a lid to your Master Gardener class to collect appropriate compostables from peoples lunches, because they just didn't get the compost lecture.

Actually it was a pretty weak lecture. Browns, greens, water, mix, wait. Simple but boring info. Nothing like here!!

* Posted by: flora_uk SW UK 8/9 (My Page) on Sat, Feb 8, 03 at 16:49

...when you have your colleagues so well-trained that you go your pigeon hole at work after lunch and find that it is full their fruit peels .... today's staff bulletin is slightly damp and has some curious stains - but who cares?

* Posted by: rxkeith z5 MI (My Page) on Sat, Feb 8, 03 at 19:56 find a source for rabbit manure, and you wonder how to go about spreading it on your garden thats covered by several feet of snow (with more falling), and temps in the single digits.

* Posted by: atomicdad SoCal z10 ss24 (My Page) on Sat, Feb 8, 03 at 20:41

I think i'm getting there cause i'm new to composting. But I went to the beach with a trashcan this afternoon to collect fresh kelp and eelgrass to mix into my heap. A couple walking the shore stopped to ask what I was doing.

"I'm picking up seaweed, what does it look like i'm doing?"

* Posted by: mollys3 z7 SC (My Page) on Sat, Feb 8, 03 at 22:19

I love this thread!

...When you plant stinging nettles in a newly made raised bed just because of the great stuff they add to the compost. (OUCH! But of course it's worth it!)

...When you choose yellow clover as a summer cover crop because it gets 5 ft. tall. The garden is in a very noticeable spot but who cares if it looks messy? I just can't wait to cut it down and compost it!

...When you eat more fruits and veggies, and drink more water just because you think maybe your pp will be a little more nutritious and abundant. Being healthier is just a nice side benefit!

* Posted by: Peter_6 (My Page) on Sun, Feb 9, 03 at 16:49

...When you make your own bonemeal by throwing bones on the fire. Well, it's a really a bonemeal-woodash cocktail. You do it after you've made stock with the bones, of course. Which brings us to the ultra-whacky part -- asking for a doggy bag with the skeleton and skin after they de-bone Dover sole at your table in a posh restaurant. Regards, Peter B.

* Posted by: PegR 6 (My Page)

Comments (2)

  • 9 years ago

    Another one--

    ...When you attend a professional meeting, and, instead of trading business cards with the other attendees, you talk gardening and composting, and get an offer of leaves from someone who has a great big oak tree in her yard!

    * Posted by: kdbern Georgia (My Page) on Sun, Feb 9, 03 at 21:54

    I can't believe my luck today! I have spent 8 hours mulching and raking leaves to bring home from a friend?s house on a beautiful sunny day, then I find this link and have had the best time reading it. I had even asked my hubby today to pee on the compost and he said I was crazy! I feel like this was such a wonderful day, I can't think of any other way I would have liked to spend it and this definitely was the best way to end it.

    * Posted by: roselust z10, so cal (My Page) on Sun, Feb 9, 03 at 22:11

    ...when you find yourself seated in a chair with a glass of chardonnay in one hand and using the other to hand-pick earthworms from your compost pile during a beautiful sunset, knowing life cant get any better.

    * Posted by: Okanagan z5-6 BC (My Page) on Mon, Feb 10, 03 at 15:32

    Oh I'm glad I found this web site. I thought I was the only wacko who turned the compost for peace of mind, always curious to find out what is going on in there, scavenging compostables everywhere, including the clippings from haircuts and cat-combing, and the dirty dishwater. Now if I can reroute the greywater...

    A number of people IRL call me "the compost lady" ... but that is not going to distinguish me here, is it? :)

    ...when your favourite book is "Compost This Book".

    * Posted by Mountainsong z7b GA (My Page) on Sat, Feb 7, 04 at 11:51

    I am going into withdrawal from the compost wacko thread! I tend to be way too serious, so when I first found the thread this fall, and sat there on Saturday mornings reading it and laughing out loud, my family was amazed! Now, stress from my job is reaching epic proportions, and I NEED to connect to other wackos! Where are you? (You know you're a compost wacko if you look for the thread on Saturday morning and are forlorn when you can't find it!)

    * Posted by: TXDana z8TX (My Page) on Sat, Feb 7, 04 at 12:57

    I've been wondering where they were, too! Then I remembered that I consider myself a CW.

    A few days ago my husband and I drove to a friend of my husband's house. This was the first time I had been to his house and the first time I had met him. Normal people greet people with "hello, how are you?" type of comments. Not this compost wacko! He said "hello" to me, and I responded with "I wish I had brought a bucket so I could have taken some of your horse manure". My husband just sighed and shook his head. He really thinks I'm a nut.

    Did I help your withdrawal?

    * Posted by: Mountainsong z7b GA (My Page) on Sat, Feb 7, 04 at 13:54

    Dana, thanks for your compassion! I'm going to seek further therapy by checking out the new worm farm to see if any of our 10 cocoons have hatched yet (yes, I counted them, but they were in a large yogurt container at the time, so that's not too weird, right?) Vermiculturists are kindred spirits! :0)

    * Posted by: Demeter z6 NJ (My Page) on Sat, Feb 7, 04 at 14:34

    Alas, with a forum as active as this one, if a thread has not been posted to for more than a month and a half or so, it vanishes off the bottom of the list ... and the wacko threads are so popular that they rapidly reached the 100 post limit and then naturally passed into oblivion.

    Sooooo..... somebody start a new "You Know You're A Compost Wacko" thread!

    * Posted by: ryanzone7 z7MD (My Page) on Sat, Feb 7, 04 at 16:05 know you're a compost wacko when you're standing with a group of people who know you are a cw, except for one person and when that person sez something even remotely related to compost EVERYONE looks right at YOU!

    * Posted by: thorspippi z9 Sac CA (My Page) on Sat, Feb 7, 04 at 16:51

    I'm not yet even a certified CW and they're already doing that.... simply because I'm now spinning & weaving my dog's hair! Therefore, I must be some kind of Generic Nature Wacko (GNW).

    Hey, he is a LONG HAIR german shepherd and he's 100 lbs... that's a LOT OF HAIR. My worms simply couldn't handle all that hair.

    * Posted by: zabby17 z5a Canada (My Page) on Sat, Feb 7, 04 at 22:50

    ... when your dog gets excited if you pick up the kitchen compost bucket. (Not, alas, because she's particularly interested in recycling or gardening, but because she knows her nightly pee outing to the back yard happens when Zabby's ready to take the scraps out to the composter... [hey, I'm not going out there TWICE on one of these cold nights!])

    * Posted by: Bostonian z6 MA (My Page) on Sun, Feb 8, 04 at 9:27

    The women in the H.S. Cafeteria where I work save me the coffee grounds and veggie scraps. The maintenance men roam through the kitchen picking up the cardboard boxes and sometimes find my scraps and throw them out! Now the women are like no, that?s Kathy?s. Then they give me a look like ?We don?t understand you but we once again protected your trash"

    * Posted by: PaulNS NS zone 6a (My Page) on Sun, Feb 8, 04 at 10:56

    It's late fall. You get on your jacket to go out and empty the compost bucket onto the pile and take its temperature. Then you reconsider and put on a warmer jacket and gloves, so that the experience will be leisurely instead of rushed.

    * Posted by: plumeria50 z9CA (My Page) on Sun, Feb 8, 04 at 12:43 know you're a compost wacko when you have to wait for night fall to sneak into the front yard to dig a very big hole to put some gross, refrigerator dead stuff in...hoping the neighbors arent going to walk by any time soon.

    * Posted by: JCin_Los_Angeles z10, Sunset 22, (My Page) on Mon, Feb 9, 04 at 0:29

    ...when your DH comes back from the car wash very embarrassed about the horse manure that had slipped out of the box on the way home from the stable. There were horse turds in plain sight and everyone saw them, and he can't see why we had to use HIS car. (Because he has a hatchback and we had to fit the bale of straw in there too.) He complains about having a compost wacko for a wife but doesn't complain at all about the fruits and vegetables!

    * Posted by: Clare z6 MO (My Page) on Mon, Feb 9, 04 at 10:44

    ...when you feel like you've hit the jackpot upon seeing that someone abandoned a bale of straw on the K-Mart parking lot and you get to put it in your trunk and bring it home.

    * Posted by: Karalyn Z6 W. Boise (My Page) on Mon, Feb 9, 04 at 11:43

    Two things I did or plan on doing is; I over heard a woman that I know at church talk to a little girl about coming over to feed her horses. I asked, Hey, do you have any horse poop I can have?" She said, "Oh, do we, my husband would be very glad to get rid of some." She lives close by, so I just need my pick up truck and persuade my 18 year old son that he wants to help me, since we are paying for his first credit card boo boos.

    Also, when I take my 12 year old son to school a few times, I notice a bale of hay on the roadside in front of their house, I don't know if it is for the garbage man to take or what, but their garbage was out and the bale is still there. So I will check it out later to see if they pick up the bale of hay or straw.

    I was in my PJ's at the time, so I wasn't going to ring their door bell.

    Also, I go out in the dark or with my coat on over my PJ's and at night dump out shredded paper, etc. on certain areas of my yard that needs it.

    * Posted by: ryanzone7 z7MD/ professor dirt (My Page) on Mon, Feb 9, 04 at 12:05 drive by three bale's of straw left over from construction (used as a silt block over the storm drains a year ago) sitting in the middle of Georgia Ave near Whites hardware and you lust for them and are just waiting for the right time to snatch them (before they wash INTO the repaired storm drains and cause a "construction repeat".) Perhaps tommorow.

    It all leads back to compost!

    * Posted by: maryann12 7 (My Page) on Mon, Feb 9, 04 at 17:24

    You know you are becoming a wacko?..

    When your brother and his wife visit from out of state (they have a compost pile), you don't worry about how your house looks, you worry about how your compost pile looks.

    * Posted by: Harimad zone 7 (My Page) on Wed, Feb 11, 04 at 10:03

    You know you're a compost wacko when...
    ... even though you detest coffee, you consider working at Starbucks for easy access to its trash.

    You know you're a compost wacko when...
    ... the weekly pound of coffee goes straight to the garden, never seeing the inside of your kitchen.

    * Posted by: Karalyn Z6 W. Boise (My Page) on Wed, Feb 11, 04 at 11:02 know you have become one, when you slyly walk over to check out your neighbor's garbage and her recycle bin. Bonanza! The blue bin is full of newspaper. I checked a dog food bag, hoping to see some newspaper waste from her big parrots. I didn't dare lift the lids to the other garbage cans.

    But I did rake up the leaves on her property next to mine where we share a mutual irrigation ditch plus all the wonderful rotting maple leaves in the ditch.

    I built a compost bin nearby with builder's block from my FIL's old milk house built in 1929. We have a bunch more to collect from eastern Idaho.

    Lined it with a some newspaper, then a wet phone book someone threw into our trash can next to our shop doors and also a bag full of apples! Must have been my eldest son or my hubby. I couldn't believe my find.

    My 12 year old saves the phone books for his BSA camp outs. Good to start a fire with LOL So I guess he missed out on this one. WE get extra phone books from our neighbors who passes them out in the fall.

    One thing my son did was have the nerve to take one of the blocks from my compost bin to place under his snowmobile trailer's tongue when he got back.

    I did go out later at night to get the dog food bag and some more newspaper. Then in the morning, I could have gotten more newspaper, but didn't dare. I think the recycle people would be disappointed. Now I'm just going to ask her if I can collect her used paper.

    The dog food bag was a bust. Oh, well.

    * Posted by: snowgardener z4 NY (My Page) on Thu, Feb 12, 04 at 14:35 know you're a compost wacko when you make your kids bring home their banana peels, orange peels, apple cores, etc. from their school lunches.

    * Posted by: Mountainsong z7b GA (My Page) on Thu, Feb 12, 04 at 22:26 know you're a compost wacko when your 8-year-old daughter shows definite signs of indoctrination: upon arriving at Starbuck's, she hurries straight past the plate of amazing chocolate chunk cookies to the "Free Coffee Grounds" basket, and returns announcing gleefully: "There are 7 bags of coffee grounds. Seven!"

    ... when you're embarrassed that your neighbor returning home at 8:30 p.m. will catch you in the headlights, and see that you are dumping your latest Starbucks cache onto one of the front yard's lasagna beds in the pitch dark. You are not, however, embarrassed enough to stop your chore, and dump three more bags on the bed before calling it a night.

    * Posted by: ryanzone7 z7MD/professor dirt (My Page) on Thu, Feb 12, 04 at 23:04 think about piles (bins/tumbler loads/whateva) you've had in the past and remember them fondly like some people remember baseball games they've attended or first (second or third) dates they've had.

    * Posted by: TeresaInCAL 9 California ) on Fri, Feb 13, 04 at 17:04

    Hey, I thought I was the only one who thought about getting a job at Starbucks, JUST for the coffee grounds...LOL

    I've also considered buying cheep coffee (on sale) JUST for the compost pile...

    * Posted by: Linda_8B (My Page) on Fri, Feb 13, 04 at 17:43

    Ha! I actually considered a part-time job at a local grocery store, just for the compost materials. Later I found out that they're so strict about not giving out the veggie and fruit waste that any employee giving any away to customers or taking any home can be fired. The dumpsters are those large closed systems, so can't even raid them. What a world we live in!

    * Posted by: Storygardener 5/6 central oh (My Page) on Fri, Feb 13, 04 at 17:54

    I guess I am a compost wacko too...yes, whenever I watch the cooking shows on TV I am just as interested in the scraps of veggies, peels , etc -as I am interested in the finished dish.

    * Posted by: Alfie_MD6 (My Page) on Sat, Feb 14, 04 at 8:00 embarrass your sister-in-law by waiting until everyone is looking the other way and then whipping out the plastic bags you somehow always seem to have in your bookbag and packing up the amazing quantity of ordered, paid for, and uneaten food the playgroup that just went away left for the café to throw out. (Actually, she was quite understanding; it's just that her particular anti-waste thing is the amount of packaging everything comes in.) ignore all of the plants at the twice-yearly plant swap just so that you can go talk to Professor Dirt about how he gets to compost for a living.

    * Posted by: Byron 4a/5b NH (My Page) on Sat, Feb 14, 04 at 14:16

    Just spotted a new farm up the street (about 2 country miles) That now has chickens, sheep and cows The cow pile has about 3 pick up loads already :-)

    * Posted by: ryanzone7 z7MD/professor dirt (My Page) on Sun, Feb 15, 04 at 5:19

    I miss my windrow turner, I all have now to turn my "big" piles is a farm tractor, and for the task at hand it's like using a shovel to sweep the side walk, it can do it but .........
    How's that for being a compost wacko?

    * Posted by: catfromtex 9 - Sunny So Cal (My Page) on Sun, Feb 15, 04 at 11:50 know you're a wacko when you've accepted a new job w/great $$ and benefits and the part you?re excited about is having access to the muck from your new employer's horse stables.

    * Posted by: maryslc z5-6 (My Page) on Mon, Feb 16, 04 at 0:10 REALLY know you're a compost wacko when a a co-worker says they haven't been able to bring themselves to spread a family members cremains.............and you eagerly offer to take care of it for them.

    * Posted by: squeeze z8 BC (My Page) on Mon, Feb 16, 04 at 0:40

    they know you're wacky at the stable where you're picking up a truckload of horse biscuits, when they say "can you take this bale of moldy hay?" and you say "yes, PLEASE!!" - and they do look at you funny, when you say "thank you very much!"

    * Posted by: veilchen 5b s. Maine (My Page) on Mon, Feb 16, 04 at 8:02

    That before you even saw this thread, you reminded yourself this morning to check the weather report on the computer before you log off, to see if there is going to be a thaw anytime soon so you can try to turn your compost pile.

    * Posted by: thorspippi z9 Sac CA (My Page) on Mon, Feb 16, 04 at 14:04

    ...when your husband offers to start up a newspaper subscription because you've been bugging him to put his office papers in a separate box so you can shred it.

    (I told him NO that defeats the whole point!)

    * Posted by: cherylm z5ma (My Page) on Mon, Feb 16, 04 at 23:24

    when you're accumulating a plastic storage boxful in the basement- coffee grounds, fruit and veg peels, a little shredded newspaper and a dab of old potting soil- no smell! and if it ever gets warm enough and melts some snow, i might get it to the real pile!

    * Posted by: plumeria50 z9CA (My Page) on Wed, Feb 18, 04 at 4:33

    You know you're a compost wacko when you are eyeing the neighbors? pumpkins on display for Halloween and wondering how you are going to slyly get some of those pumpkins for your compost heap. Also, how you are going to pick up several on the curb before the garbage trucks come for them...without the neighbors seeing you.

    * Posted by: Harimad zone 7 (My Page) on Wed, Feb 18, 04 at 11:09

    If you're worried about the neighbors seeing you, you may still be wacko-in-training. When you don't care, then you're definitely a wacko. If your neighbors give it to you or put it in your pile instead of in the trash can, then you're a prophet (ie, wacko with following).

    * Posted by: organic_johnny z6b PA (My Page) on Wed, Feb 18, 04 at 11:57

    When you send your teenage son out for leaf bags...(which my mom did to me...I'm a 2nd gen cw).

    * Posted by: PaulNS NS zone 6a (My Page) on Wed, Feb 18, 04 at 12:34

    When you create a 4'x4'x4' pile of crab waste and sawdust compost in a hurry, not mixing the materials enough or using enough sawdust, so that your good intentions turn into a Raging Pile of Stink which drifts clear over to the neighbours' place and lies down heavily on them during a heat wave and they are good neighbours so they only mention it politely after putting up with it for three days and you do everything within your power to muffle the smell including shovelling garden soil on top and surrounding the pile with bales of straw, to no avail, and all the while you're secretly and gleefully gloating over the big pile of rot in your yard which, really, objectively speaking, any normal person would consider smells fascinating.

    * Posted by: Storygardener 5/6 central oh (My Page) on Wed, Feb 18, 04 at 12:52

    ....when at the garden club meeting last night I took all the plant litter from the demonstration and put it in my coat pocket for my compost pile.

    * Posted by: Nelz z5b/6 NW PA (My Page) on Thu, Feb 19, 04 at 23:49

    Your wife mentions horse and pony for herself and daughter, and all you can picture is a pitchfork, a wheel barrow, and a dirty stall, and you smile LARGE!!

    * Posted by: Karalyn Z6 W. Boise (My Page) on Fri, Feb 20, 04 at 13:58

    You are a wacko go to your son's high school for a ski trip meeting and notice the little tractor and flatbed trailer full of bags and pizza boxes! I just grab 2 boxes on our way out, and I think one had spit on it from a student from the above corridor. This was around 7:45PM and dark.

    Also, the next door neighbor that I took some newspaper from her bin comes over to where I'm adding to the compost bin and I'm in my pj's, coat and NEW BLUE RUBBER BOOTS and asks, "What do I have there?" I told her what I was up to and told her I was raking up the leaves in the ditch, clearing up the grass, etc.

    She said I could have all the leaves I want and I asked about the newspaper and she said she'll just leave the bin by my compost bin. Cool, huh? ;-)

    Also, when hubby comes home from Nevada after cleaning casinos and brings me two packets of coffee that will make 4 cups. LOL Not quite the garbage bag full of Starbuck's coffee grounds, but I'm sure it will make a nice tea!

    I still don't have him "dumpster diving" at the restaurants he takes care of for greens or coffee grounds etc. He says it is very messy! Hah!

    * Posted by: bakemom z6 Ohio (My Page) on Sat, Feb 21, 04 at 0:05

    Beverly - You're HERE! I just hopped over to check out a lasagna thread and here you are. Will you be full of instruction at the swap? I'm just chucking stuff here and there and throwing in a bit of shredded paper work. I don't know what I'm doing but things seem to grow better.

    Help! I'm a winter sowing junkie and thinking this is right up my alley.

    * Posted by: Storygardener 5/6 central oh (My Page) on Sat, Feb 21, 04 at 7:24

    Hi Bakemom!! Well, I have been composting for nearly two years. Most of what I know - came from this forum. I just keep reading all the time and learning!

    I have done one lasagna garden. It's a veggie garden that I 'layered up' year and a half ago. I have the book if you want to borrow it.


    * Posted by: PaulNS NS zone 6a (My Page) on Sat, Feb 21, 04 at 12:48

    Karalyn, Queen of the Wackos, composting student spit :)

    A snowstorm drops 90 cm/3 feet of snow on your area and the compost pile is 30m/100 feet from the house so you toss your kitchen scraps on the snow outside the front door and tell yourself you're sheet composting.

    * Posted by: Karalyn Z6 W. Boise (My Page) on Sun, Feb 22, 04 at 11:21

    Paul, I love it! Tossing your scraps out the door. I do that with banana peelings outside my front door where the rose bushes are and the clematis plants. I understand they like the potassium in them.

    But now that I've come to this forum, I snip them in itty bitty pieces into an ice cream pail while listening to Dr. Phil, Montel, or Oprah. I'm behind you guys in my composting and need to speed things up! ;-) BTW, there were a lot more pizza boxes but I know DS wouldn't be interested in helping me nor waiting. But now I know another goldmine, the SCHOOL!

    * Posted by: Nelz z5b/6 NW PA (My Page) on Mon, Feb 23, 04 at 1:05

    I have so many (currently 9) coffee ground buckets out (grocery store cafe's, teacher break rooms, church kitchen, etc.) that I need a list to keep track of emptying them. Plus I put my phone number on the lids so someone calls me when it's near full. BTW, most places have appropriate sized buckets so pick-ups can be done at the same time, yet I still have full buckets to pick-up, and I am not taking up extra space under their counter.

    This spring I hope to get others to start taking those grounds (will replace phone number lids with blank ones) so I can quit the circuit pick-up, now that I have starbucks on the hook for quite a bit 1 or 2x a week.

    * Posted by: flora_uk SW UK 8/9 (My Page) on Wed, Feb 25, 04 at 8:57

    YKYACWW .... you hear a wail from the living room. Your daughter has just puked up on the carpet. You eye it up. Not toooo sloppy. Grab a piece of cardboard, scoop and run down the garden to the pile. Mission accomplished, you come back and start to mop up daughter. Got to get your priorities right.

    * Posted by: Karalyn Z6 W. Boise (My Page) on Wed, Feb 25, 04 at 16:35


    * Posted by: Karalyn Z6 W. Boise (My Page) on Sun, Mar 7, 04 at 11:26

    I scored the other day! I was going to a school meeting for my 12 year old, went through the fancy new neighborhood and saw the grounds workers cutting down tree branches and all the grasses (ornamental) and they were put in piles on the lawn later to be picked up.

    I made a mental note to go back and ask about the grasses.

    I took a different route home, but made a quick left turn into the subdivision. I asked the first guy, they are from Mexico and don't speak much English, but enough to direct me to the boss. He said fine and I offered my club wagon to put the grass into.

    They said "No, they wouldn't fit." I have all my bench seats in it. (I loved how they talked amongst themselves in spanish to decide about taking them to where I live which is behind the new subdivision) They actually loaded all the cut grasses and raked up leaves and put them in their truck and took them to my house and unloaded them for me. I wasn't expecting such service. They said they would just dump them anyway.

    So, I scored big time in the goal of getting other people's mulch and having it delivered. Where is that thread anyway?!

    I told them they can dump more of their grasses. They weren't done with this big subdivision and they also mow the shared grassy area and little parks. So I told them feel free to dump the grass too! When the grass gets long enough to mow.

    Plus I got the main guy's card to have him do some pruning and other stuff for me. I think the crew was amazed that this blonde haired lady, driving a ford clubwagon was willing to load it up with all the tall grasses! Let alone talk to them, as some people in this manicured area probably wouldn't bother speaking to them.

    Okay, is the yellow ornamental grass considered a brown or green?

    * Posted by: sylviatexas z8 Tx (My Page) on Mon, Mar 8, 04 at 17:15

    One day I was to meet friends for a drink after work. I got there early, &, being a naturally shy & bashful person, I sat at the bar & talked to the bartender about my enthusiasm for Starbucks coffee grounds, other people's leaves, etc.

    Gary was the first to arrive. Gary's a hoot. He's one of those people who's always sanitizing their hands & spritzing the kitchen counter with anti-bacterial stuff.

    He sat down next to me just as the bartender said, "I just finished making myself a pitcher of tea. Would you like the teabag?" & I said *yes*! Of course! Thank you very much!
    So she put it in a sandwich bag for me.

    Gary eyed it & shuddered.

    The bartender, seeing his reaction, looked at him speculatively & said, "We roasted some peanuts in the shells earlier today for happy hour. Would you like the shells?"

    So she & I scooped peanut shells into my sandwich baggie as Gary made faces & shuddered.

    * Posted by: antic_zone9 z9FL (My Page) on Mon, Mar 15, 04 at 20:13

    You know you're a compost wacko (or a wannabe) when: take morning walks on trashday, pretending to be exercising, when you're really scouting the free bags of leaves. walk the same route again, this time with the dog, in order not to arouse suspicion because you want to snag a beautiful closet door that will make a perfect wormbin (because of it's louvers). :) don't worry about working out in a gym because you get your upper body workout by forking and turning your garbagecan compost bin. :)

    ...your DW is actually proud of you because of your commitment to something worthwhile (although you know she wonders about your sanity sometimes!) ;)'re ticked off that you can't compost plastic, because it won't break down within your lifetime, but you are happy that you are composting 60% of your garbage! read composting books in the restroom and wonder if the DW would EVER let you have a composting toilet in the next house. (even if it was YOU that maintained it!) subconsciously thank all of those hard-working neighbors who painstakingly rake up all of their leaves so you can steal their bags the next morning! ;)

    ...(this has been said before, but what the heck!) You wonder if the next occupants of the house will take advantage of the fresh composted soil for gardening that the previous owner had spent years transforming from a sandtrap. think about all the OGM that is wasted daily and sleep very well that night knowing that you are doing your small part to hug the earth.

    * Posted by: maryslc z5-6 (My Page) on Fri, Mar 26, 04 at 23:31

  • 9 years ago

    The happiest day in the life of a compost wacko, along with the worst day, has to be when the new neighbor who moves in next door is ANOTHER compost wacko.
    Two weeks after the moving van left their driveway, they had cleared the 1/4 acre trash filled back half of the lot, started their compost piles. built raised beds, and had gone door to door in the neighborhood offering to leave plastic pails for kitchen scraps, which they would come and empty every two days . And they were casing MY llama pen, asking if I had any plans for the llama poo. Arggggh.
    Isn't it wonderful though, to be able to give your new neighbors a truckload of horse manure and a wheel barrel full of greens as a housewarming gift, even if you do have to start keeping a very close eye on your llama poo.

    * Posted by: gardenz4evr z7 MD (My Page) on Sat, Mar 27, 04 at 1:01

    You know you're a wacko when you try to think of the quickest way to gather all the leaves of the neighborhood from the yards, curbs, and so on before the wind blows it away, loosing sleep in the process, and then in the morning hating yourself for not getting enough sleep to have the strength to carry out any plan of attack.

    * Posted by: flwrfrog z9 Orlando (My Page) on Sat, Mar 27, 04 at 1:32

    OMW to wack-dom... starting to hate the days my DH drives his truck to work, because I drive a Mini. I feel so much guilt leaving those bags of yard waste, but they definately won't fit in my tiny lil' car. I'll be celebrating the day later this year when the DH gets a take home car, and I have free use of the pick-up!

    And I bought a paper shredder today... It's just not quite right to derive so much satisfaction from the simple act of shreading a few pieces of mail, and a newspaper.

    * Posted by: Karalyn Z6 W. Boise (My Page) on Sun, Mar 28, 04 at 12:05

    I scored on getting 24 bags of oak and various tree leaves brought to my yard. My neighbor down the street had these black bags and i saw them while walking my dog. I had my son go ask about it and my neighbor helped him put the bags in the pick up.

    My next score last week was two pick up loads of straw and goat droppings. (The cool part is that my 12 1/2 year old son and the family's sons, younger than my son, helped to pile on the poop. They also came to our house riding on the little trailer with the poop behind our riding lawn mower my son was driving. Then my son got smarter and got my older son to drive our pick up over there. Heehee.)

    What is exciting is that one was more composted and is actually heating while i type. I went to get some of the smelly stuff to add to a compost bin DH bought for me at Costco for $40.00 to aid in the stuff composting in there. I had a rubber glove on and could feel the heat! Plus the heat was just on the outside!

    I am so excited! MY first time! Now am I a compost Wacko or not?! Yahoo! Yippee! Zowie! Hehaw! Yeah! Way to Go! Jeepers Creeper! Cool man.

    * Posted by: carnationman uk ) on Sun, Mar 28, 04 at 15:07

    It's not new.
    Being a compost freak is not new it just became more fashionable, more than 65 years ago during WWII in England it was expected that we should grow as much food as possible. Almost everything including fertilizer and the like were in very short supply, what supplies there were went towards the war effort My late father now I remember must have been organic. Even before this time, I can remember being taken on a bus ride to the moorland just outside Sheffield together with three of my younger brothers, after a picnic and a little playing about we were each given a paper carrier bag there were no plastic in those days, we were shown what to search for, we were looking for dried sheep droppings of which there were plenty lying about the instructions were to pick only the dried ones this was quite a regular occurrence I can well remember on one occasion I had become a little bored I could not be bothered to look for the (special) dry droppings and any way how could it matter they were going into water anyway when we got home, and I should know after all I was eight years old .on the way home on the crowded bus we youngsters always had to stand to allow the adults to sit, my paper bag had become sodden and burst and all the sheep turds rolled towards the rear of the bus we were ordered off the bus but not before every last turd had been picked up we all had to walk the seven or eight miles home I can well remember the particular chastisement it was heavy handed to say the least. However the tomatoes grown by my dad were the best I have ever tasted. I have tried to duplicate his methods but as yet I cannot seem to get the superb taste I so well remember.

    *Posted by LCPW z6 St Louis (My Page) on Thu, May 13, 04 at 18:02

    tiny wackos...I'm gardening with a friend this year - her daughter and mine are in kindergarten together, and she has a toddler as well. (I'm the "consultant" - the backyard we're gardening is hers, most decisions about how to proceed are mine, the sweat equity and produce are split equally.)

    I mentioned here some time ago that I didn't feel like I knew her well enough to tell her she needed to add pee to her compost pile. But it seems I do now! The day before yesterday, I commented that the easiest way to find out whether our tomato seedlings wanted nitrogen was to have her husband pee on them. She was astonished - she had no idea that urine was such a good nitrogen source. Well, she immediately shouted across the yard to invite MY husband to volunteer, but he refused. So she got the attention of our three kids, and let them know that we needed someone to pee on the tomatoes. I wasn't sure how this would go over, and just stood back to watch. The kindergarteners got a funny look in their eyes - tempted, interested, hesitant, embarassed ... and frankly not sure how to proceed, since the tomatoes are in raised beds. Then my friend had a brainstorm. She sent them inside to fetch the toddler's potty chair. It was set up in the garden, and each of the three little girls dropped trow and peed, proud of her service to the tomatoes (and my friend poured it carefully around some not-too-enthusiastic-looking tomato seedlings).

    Okay, I confess, perhaps we can't certify the kids yet - since the pee went into the soil and mulch rather than the compost heap itself. But I'm sure we'll get there before the summer's over.

    I've got at least 3 budding wackos on my hands!

    *Posted by gluecille 6 (My Page) on Wed, Sep 8, 04 at 20:34 have kitchen scraps in your hand, open the top of your compost bin, look at the soldier fly larva (thanks again Bill) and say...are you guys hungry? After I said that this evening I just stopped and shook my head thinking... OOOOh, you've got compost on the brain real bad.

    * Posted by: Davest_pete tampa area/flor (My Page) on Wed, Sep 8, 04 at 20:41

    the restaurant I get veg scraps was closed due to the hurricane and I thought they just closed up and left. I got home and commented I couldn't do without the 5-10 lbs each day. Thankfully they were open today.

    * Posted by: gardenymph z6 Va (My Page) on Wed, Sep 8, 04 at 22:10're seriously considering giving some friends of yours who are new home owners a pound of compost as a house/garden warming gift.

    * Posted by: launate z9 CA/Sunset 15 (My Page) on Thu, Sep 9, 04 at 13:21 offer to give someone a rake just so you can pick up their piles of leaves

    * Posted by: Alfie_MD6 (My Page) on Thu, Sep 9, 04 at 13:28

    Um, gardenymph? No true compost wacko would even unseriously consider giving anybody any amount of compost under any circumstances. Yes, you're a lovely, generous person. But no, you're not a compost wacko.

    * Posted by: gardenymph z6 Va (My Page) on Thu, Sep 9, 04 at 13:34

    Now wait a minute Alfie, I think I've done enough crazy things to warrant a little backsliding! Please don't take away my certificate!! (not that you really could because I composted it, so HAH!)

    * Posted by: AzDesertRat AZ 8b Sunset 12 (My Page) on Thu, Sep 9, 04 at 14:02

    Along the lines of launate's suggestion, you just offer to clean a friend's backyard, and of course, any "byproducts" are yours. I have done twice already, and I will be doing more in the fall (our fall anyway).

    * Posted by: Bill_G PNW OR (My Page) on Thu, Sep 9, 04 at 15:18

    You're welcome gluecille. I call it feeding my babies. DW knows exactly what I'm talking about when I say it. She will not look at them. Totally 210% grossed out by them. OTOH, the compost bin sits next to the kiwi on the fence, a santuary for all kinds of little birds. I've pulled a top section of compost out filled with the grubs, dropped it to the ground, and then watched the birds eyeball it wondering if they should chance dropping on it now or will I leave so they can eat in peace.

    BTW, I now have a hawk visiting the garden in the evenings getting little birds for dinner. I've found piles of feathers near the fence with the hawk sitting on a top vine of the kiwi. Life in action. Time to put in a ditch to the river so salmon can spawn in my bathtub. :)

    * Posted by: Harimad zone 7 (My Page) on Thu, Sep 9, 04 at 21:38

    ...when multiple friends email you offers to give you whatever they found rotting in the fridge this week.

    * Posted by: Braveland4H Zone 5 WI (My Page) on Thu, Sep 9, 04 at 21:57

    ...when the number one criteria for new vehicle purchases rests on how easily you can get straw bales and pumpkins on Nov 1, Chrtistmas trees on Dec 26th, into the back. And ?new? vehicle means new-to-you, but previously owned, cuz DH/DW wouldn't let you put putriscibles in an actually NEW vehicle.

    * Posted by: TreePapa 10/So.Calif (My Page) on Fri, Sep 10, 04 at 0:22

    ...when the bin is *full*, the open pile is overflowing, and you're still looking for and bringing home om to compost ... where?

    ...when you start seeing more of your BIL because his apt. complex has horses AND MANURE...

    (who wouldn't think of not having at least one real pick up truck in the family (a real p/u truck is one you can thrown anything in the back, 'cuz that's what it's for, not for getting admiring looks as you drive down the road).

    * Posted by: PaulNS NS zone 6a (My Page) on Fri, Sep 10, 04 at 7:34 proudly (gleefully!) show visitors your new garden trenches full of reeking crab offal and dirt swarming with soldier fly larvae, and invite them to buy the produce you plan to grow out of those trenches next year.

    * Posted by: Harimad zone 7 (My Page) on Fri, Sep 10, 04 at 8:16

    Paul, that's one way to keep them from poaching your produce!

    * Posted by: gluecille 6 (My Page) on Fri, Sep 10, 04 at 19:14

    Time to put in a ditch to the river so salmon can spawn in my bathtub. :) Start digging Bill and let us know when the salmon are spawning. That's too funny!!!

    I went to visit my aunt that lives a little over an hour?s drive from me yesterday. She had corn on the cob for lunch and when she started making the salad the first head of lettuce she pulled out of the fridge was bad. When she started to throw all of the corn husks and the bad lettuce in the trash guess what I said...I take that off your hands...I have hungry mouths to feed. Ah yes, I brought it home and just now fed the babies.

    * Posted by: wavesmom SF, Calif (My Page) on Fri, Sep 10, 04 at 23:41 buy corn on the cob at the Farmer's Market because you know it will mean lots of browns for the compost pile, and you are a bit short on browns this week.

    * Posted by: zabby17 z5/6 Toronto (My Page) on Sat, Sep 11, 04 at 0:33


    I have my BF so well trained. On Labor Day we BBQ?d at my parent's place, and I brought of course garden produce, fresh sliced tomatoes and home-grown corn. Got my little nieces and nephews to help me shuck it, and had them put all the shucks into the bucket I had brought the corn in. When we got ready to go, BF didn't say anything, just wordlessly picked up the bucket to bring the shucks back home....

    * Posted by: kathy756 Z8, Oregon (My Page) on Sun, Sep 12, 04 at 19:45 dump some worms from the bait shop onto the top of the compost and you and your sweetheart stand arm in arm watching them wriggle and you say to him, "Do you think they'll be happy with us?" And he replies, "A lot happier than they would have been on a fish hook."

    * Posted by: gluecille 6 (My Page) on Sun, Sep 12, 04 at 20:14

    Kathy, you won't believe this but just a few minutes ago I was eyeing a container of worms my DH has in his frig for fishing and thinking...wouldn't they be happier in my compost? Okay I'm going in and rescuing at least one container. He won't miss it...I hope!

    and I forgot to mention...I didn't mean to put the first when in the subject line. That's what happens when you get in a hurry.

    * Posted by: nenadrew 7b MS (My Page) on Mon, Sep 13, 04 at 9:03 suddenly realize your spouse has it almost as bad as you do. My otherwise tolerant husband used to get downright grouchy about the compost. He thought the whole thing was a lot of unnecessary hard work, and pretty gross too; just the thought of a pail of putrescibles made him gag.

    But now... it was DH who talked our neighbor into dumping his grass clippings over the fence - and built a special bin to receive them... he goes out every evening at dusk to er, water the pile... he trims his beard over the compost bucket instead of the bathroom sink... his eyes don't even glaze over anymore when I start reading tidbits from the soil & compost forum.

    After sweeping up an area of the carport where some oil had spilled, he eyed the contents of the dustpan and said, "I guess this is dirty dirt..." and regretfully dumped it in a trashcan. The other day I heard the slap of a fly swatter from another room, and then hubby calling out, "Dead bugs will compost, won't they?"

    Life is good.

    * Posted by: Harimad zone 7 (My Page) on Mon, Sep 13, 04 at 21:33

    Very good. My roommate is gradually being converted to helpful, although he was never against the idea.

    * Posted by: annp z5 ME (My Page) on Tue, Sep 14, 04 at 11:32

    Alfie, I, too, was stunned by gardenymph 's post, and disappointed, but mainly excrutiatingly embarrassed for her. I thought about contacting Spike and seeing if her post could be yanked, but then I thought it over and thought if just one newcomer saw it and realized just what can happen when you get too big for your paper bag, the forum would be a better place. A little flattery and the girl thinks she's a wacko. Which is precisely why the video: "Are you Truly a Wacko?" is worth the postage (and dues).

    * Posted by: Harimad zone 7 (My Page) on Tue, Sep 14, 04 at 12:07

    I was hoping she'd do the favor for *me* when I move soon. She does, after all, live in my general vicinity. Don't scare her off.

    * Posted by: Harimad zone 7 (My Page) on Tue, Sep 14, 04 at 12:10 sing "Food, Glorious Food" when dumping putrid, mucky, sloshy, week-old kitchen scraps into your pile. think how much more wacko it would be if you sang said song while, um, watering your pile. seriously consider setting your alarm for the middle of the night so you can, in fact, simultaneously water and sing (quietly) without being seen by your neighbors.

    * Posted by: gluecille 6 (My Page) on Tue, Sep 14, 04 at 19:31

    ...when you quit saving leftovers you had for supper to have another night so you can feed your little critters/compost pile.

    I always save my leftovers either to take for my lunch or to have the next night or for soup but I couldn't help myself tonight. My hands just went for the scrap bowl and in the leftovers went. I just couldn't stop even though I thought this would be good for lunch tomorrow.

    * Posted by: Vallari Zone 8 E.VA (My Page) on Tue, Sep 14, 04 at 20:50 walk w/ a wheelbarrow 4 blocks away from your house to fill it with wood chips over 30 times and it takes 5hrs w/ some breaks thrown in to rest; and an officer stops and asks you what you're doing w/ your wheelbarrow at 2o'clock in the morning. The wood chip pile was taller than me, and freshly made, and very wide, and I just couldn't stop for any reason other than sheer exhaustion. The next day I was sooooooo sore, and the next day; the day after that the pile was gone(sigh & boo hoo). Happy Composting! I'm so glad it's fall. want to put off seeing your little sister's first baby because you'll be gone for 3wks in October. (wacko or selfish?) I am definitely going to see my sis!

    * Posted by: gardenymph z6 Va (My Page) on Tue, Sep 14, 04 at 21:30

    Oh annp, how quickly we forget. I seem to recall late one night not too long ago, after posting a picture of my compost diner, a certain annp proclaimed me a definite wacko and welcomed me to the club. This annp then proceeded to sing, "I can hear the kookaburra singing in the kookaburra tree." Maybe this was another annp?

    Could you people not even possibly consider that I'm such a wacko to do such an unwacko thing?

    * Posted by: annp z5 ME (My Page) on Tue, Sep 14, 04 at 22:59

    welllll, mayyyybe that's true. . . It did seem like a truly wacko suggestion. Sharing compost! HA!!! HA!!!

    * Posted by: zabby17 z5/6 Toronto (My Page) on Wed, Sep 15, 04 at 7:54

    Now, now.

    Where, exactly, in the wacko charter, does it say that if you love compost means you must be an ungenerous person? I must have missed that section. I think sharing the joy of compost is an EXCELLENT activity for a card-carrying wacko. Maybe the delighted recipients will turn her compost when she's away! Maybe they'll bring her their grass clippings!

    You know that compost, after all, doesn't do much good till you spread it around....

    * Posted by: kab121170 z5 Indiana (My Page) on Wed, Sep 22, 04 at 9:38 train your cocker spaniel, AKA the nitrogenator, to pee on your compost pile... share your morning coffee with the rhododendron...

    * Posted by: PaulNS NS zone 6a (My Page) on Wed, Sep 22, 04 at 9:59 park on a sloping slipway to get as close as possible to a beach on which large quantities of seaweed were dumped by the remnants of hurricane Ivan, in a truck with an iffy emergency brake and a recent tendency to not start until the second or third try.

    The staff of the national park in your area goes on strike and your wife's first response is, "Maybe now we can get that eelgrass on the shore" (inside the park boundaries).

    * Posted by: dad9899 z5upNY (My Page) on Wed, Oct 2, 02 at 22:52

    You know you are compost whacko when....... have actually read this entire thread.

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