Compost? The Big But …

31 Aug

strawberry girlW e l l … there is a ridiculous amount of information out there on organics and non-GMO crops so I find no reason to preach, but some food for thought…

All the food in my kitchen (and subsequently in my compost pile) is certified organic, grown with organic methods, or is the best quality I can find.  I get my food from:

  • My own vegetable garden (this summer we had tomatoes, beautiful basil, cucumbers galore, zucchini, summer squash, a few potatoes and black eyed peas.  The record setting rain rotted pretty  much everything else.)
  • The Barker’s vegetable patch down the street (they are about 80 years old and grow the BEST russet potatoes and turkey figs you will EVER taste)
  • Carlton Farms (where I also buy raw milk, grass-fed beef, pastured eggs, and veggies)
  • Weedy Soil Farm (a neighbor’s farm out in the exurbs … we grow lots of the same stuff so I only buy from her occasionally, but the grows the BEST kale and radishes)
  • U-pick farms.  If I believed in reincarnation, I firmly believe I was a fruit picker in a former life.  In fact, the photo above is from a local u-pick.  I like this one too.  We can pick enough in one day to last through the winter!  Trust me, it’s A LOT.
  • Local area farmers markets
  • Whole Foods, Publix, and Target (which has a surprising amount of decent organic produce in a pinch)

Naturally I use as much of my precious produce as I can so all that leftover goodness goes into my kitchen compost bucket, and ultimately back into my veggie garden.  Yay!  Organic Compost!  But, there is a BIG BUT … Lawn Waste …

All the effort you put into keeping your kitchen clean can be instantly negated if the grass clippings and yard waste you are adding to your compost pile is chemically treated.

Is that an “aha!” moment for you?  It was for me a few years ago when my head gardener (my darling husband) and I realized we were being chemical free in the kitchen and treating the lawn each season with a toxic tonic,.  Then we mixed it all together into … an organic toxic compost cocktail.  Yuck!  Live and learn.

So we switched from Chem Lawn (it’s right in the company name – argh!) to chem free.  My kids think I’m nuts hand-pulling weeds, hoeing garden beds and using a vinegar spray instead, but now we are as organic as can be inside and out.

(By the way, life is a balancing act.  If you need to occasionally attack the rare, crazy, totally out-of-control case of weeds and vinegar is not doing the trick, at least buy the least toxic product you can find, use it minimally, and then do not compost those weeds or grass clippings.)


Posted by on August 31, 2013 in Compost How To, Musings


2 responses to “Compost? The Big But …

  1. Sophie Cussen

    August 31, 2013 at 11:54 am

    I know how you feel about the lawn…it’s no big deal, or shouldn’t be anyway. Lawns are there to be played on, walked on, kicked at and even wee’d on (apologies if you don’t have a doggy). It shouldn’t look like a manicured bowling green, it should just do what it needs to do and so what if it has a few bare patches and a few weeds here and there. Way I look at it, it’s just another habitat 🙂


    • wedigyummy

      September 3, 2013 at 2:22 pm

      Sophie, thanks for your comment and I totally agree! With three kids and two big dogs the lawn is a place to live. We’d rather have a natural environment along with all the imperfections than a showplace that is chemically maintained. Of course that means, we also have a fair amount of bugs and plenty of snakes!



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