There are two poles that define the globe of my life in the country. One is the Internet and all that goes with troubleshooting and maintaining the satellite and wifi installations for myself (and, since I worked in tech 10 years ago) most of my neighbors. The other is trash. Not the “you’re trash, get out of here” kind of trash: the bags and buckets kind.

We are far enough from the rest of civilization that no services are delivered here. No electricity, no mail or delivery of any kind, no garbage, no propane. It all needs to be coordinated and handled by us. I love it. Not just for the conspicuous lack of 4 or 5 monthly bills, but for the self-reliance it’s taught me. My favorite systems are the hydro power set up and the compost pile, but only the compost pile turns trash into food. When we first started, the whole concept of a compost pile felt like alchemy. It’s mostly just about consistency and some yearly maintenance, which my neighbor does for me as trade for the above mentioned tech support. It really does take a village. :)

We’ve had this pile going for over ten years and it’s not just a reliable producer of great compost for the garden. This year, it’s an extension of it. A couple weeks ago, this started growing out of the bottom of the pile. I figure it’s from some kind of squash or pumpkin we composted last year, but I won’t know for another week or two. It’s huge and flowering now, so I’ll keep you posted on what it turns out to be.

compost pile