Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fire Plug

Miss MoneyPenny is a born again composter and recycler.  Before I got the Word I was told by a former boyfriend that I sure generated a lot of garbage.  I don't know how because I was eating off of food stamps and my sister's garden at that time, but I carried that habit with me through the years.  I can't begin to tell you how happy I was when my favorite ex-husband got a dumpster for his business.  Between us, we filled that thing up every week.

Then about 20 years ago I was leafing through a Smith & Hawken catalog when I noticed a kitchen composter.  I always thought composting was for farmers and you had to do a lot of pitchforking and I wanted nothing to do with that.  The picture showed a black, plastic box with louvers on the side and two little lift up doors toward the bottom.  The directions were simple.  Lift the lid and throw in your vegetable peelings and apple cores and magic dirt would come out the bottom.

It really was pretty easy.  The box came with a starter, which was just a bag of hot compost, and I started feeding it.  Coffee filters, tea bags, plant clippings, bottom of the birdcage, peelings and even vacuum cleaner bags.  Never see them again.  Once a year, I add a bag of hot chicken manure just to make things interesting.  If it gets dry, I hose it down.  If it starts to smell, I dig around in it so it can breathe.

Every spring I empty it out onto my garden and mix it with Miracle Gro potting soil for my deck plants.  In the fall, I fill it up over the top with the garden cleanup.  In no time those little wormies bring that pile right down so that the lid fits again.

Since it is up against a sunny wall, it cooks all year.  It never smokes or bursts into flames like some compost piles I have heard of, but it does a good job.

Here is a picture of my inside composting bucket:

The guy from Seattle calls it the fire plug.  It does kind of look like one.  I bought a blue one for Miss SmartyPants and was dismayed when she opened it and it was bigger than mine!!!

I hope that you give composting a try.  If you don't have a garden, just pour the magic dirt out.  Much better than living forever in the landfill.  I'm so serious about composting that I actually dug mine up and moved it to the new house when the big divorce happened.  I got those worms fair and square in the divorce settlement and they were going with me.


  1. Fire Plug! I like it! I also love that mine is BIGGER than yours... It still fills up very quickly trying to feed 3 hungry little kids every day. Maybe now that melon season is finished it will take a little longer to fill.

    Funny about divorces... You got the worms. I got custody of the Rogue River rocks.

    I am also a believer in composting. I have a composter like MMP and use it for kitchen scraps. I also have compost heaps. They aren't as tidy as the enclosed ones, but if you have the room (I made a heap compost behind the bushes in the backyard in Eugene) and the time to wait you can really compost a lot for larger gardens. Use the same maintenance tips as MMP.

    One more tidbit of advice.... Do NOT buy chicken manure in the bag and then leave it in a hot car all afternoon! ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH..........

  2. MSP: I'll be sure to abstain from hot poultry droppings. Should be fairly easy to do.